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Monday 27th February - Friday 10th March 2017

World Book Day Events:  The Workhouse

"Under The Hawthorn Tree" by Marita Conlon McKenna  is the stimulus for this Heritage Education programme, which is produced in collaboration with Dungannon Library. 

Pupils carry out an investigation into the history of Dungannon Workhouse in the Library, then they are admitted into the workhouse in Ranfurly House where they meet Mrs McKinley, the formidable matron of the workhouse.

Some of the schools which took part in this programme in 2016 said:

  • An excellent programme - the children were enthused by being able to make their study of the Famine real and relevant.  Sacred Heart Primary School, Rock.
  • Fantastic trip, and will be giving glowing reports to all who ask.  Will be back next year. St Columba's Primary School, Straw.
  • This event is suitable for KS2 pupils. 
  • Each session starts at 10.00 am and lasts for two hours.
  • Cost:  £2 per pupil/class of up to 30 pupils £50.  School staff - free.
 Curriculum Links
Language and Literacy:  Talking and Listening; Reading; Writing 
The World Around Us:  History
TS and PC:  Being Creative 
Statutory Requirements:  Change Over Time; Place

If you require any details about the above programme, contact the Education Officer, Peter Lant  or telephone 028 8772 8600.

If you wish to make a booking, contact Ranfurly House  or telephone 028 8772 8600.


Heritage Education Programme

•    Words on the Hill:  The historical events, characters and stories connected to the Hill of The O’Neill are used as stimuli to encourage children’s creative writing in workshops with a professional writer. (KS2/3)

•    History on the Hill with its blend of guided educational tours and drama, deals with the period 1590 to 1622.  It makes use of the permanent exhibition and the Hill of The O’Neill.  This activity is facilitated by a living history company and the Education Officer. (KS1/2)

•    Create a Castle! KS1 children begin to understand historical facts and persons relating to this site and explore the Hill of The O’Neill with the assistance of the Education Officer.  They then create their own castles from recycled materials.  An artist facilitates the castle construction.

•    A Victorian Christmas in Ranfurly House:  a series of educational activities that draw on the Victorian background of Ranfurly House, so that children can learn about the traditions, games and artwork of the Victorian Christmas. These activities are facilitated by a living history company and an artist. (KS1/2/3)

•    The Workhouse: A World Book Day Event offered jointly with Dungannon Library, uses as its stimulus the novel “Under the Hawthorn Tree”.  In the library pupils carry out an investigation into Dungannon Workhouse.  They then take part in living history, being admitted to the workhouse. The latter part of the activity is facilitated by a living history company. (KS2)

•    Discovering Our Past is facilitated by a team of archaeologists from Queen’s University, Belfast.  Pupils learn how archaeologists find out about the past, take part in archaeological exercises, while discerning the historical significance of the Hill of The O’Neill (KS2/3)

•    Plantation of Ulster Study Visits: Year 9 pupils participate in class visits to our permanent exhibition and then take part in a guided tour of the Hill of The O’Neill.  The pupils are provided with specially created resource booklets.  These visits are led by the Education Officer.

•    Dungannon: Where I Live – an exploration of the local built environment and heritage of Dungannon town.  Suitable for KS2 pupils.

•    Victorian Dungannon – a living history activity in which KS2 pupils can learn about Victorian Dungannon and the lives of children from that era, whilst also participating in a Victorian lesson.

•    Northern Ireland Forest Schools Awards – a six week outdoor environmental programme, based at Hill of The O’Neill Heritage Park, led by Brian Poots from NIFSA.  Suitable for KS1/2 pupils.