The Tenement House teacher information

The Tenement House offers a fascinating insight into the life of an ordinary Glasgow citizen at the beginning of the 20th century, when most people in Glasgow – from the wealthy to the very poor – lived in tenements.

The Tenement House was built in 1892 to suit the middle classes who could afford to rent larger flats with improved facilities, such as a bathroom with hot running water. It was the home of Miss Agnes Toward, a shorthand typist, from 1911 until 1965. During her years of tenancy she changed little of the interior, which remains Victorian in character. It retains most of its original furnishings and fittings, including the kitchen range and recess beds.

The school programme engages with the Curriculum for Excellence and offers opportunities for cross-curricular work. Pupils will experience first-hand the tenement way of life. On first entering the House, they will hear the hiss of the gas lights and the gentle tick of the grandfather clock. As they tour the kitchen, parlour, bedroom and bathroom, they will view the original contents and learn about Miss Toward’s life. In the education room, pupils can try out activities and handle a range of old-fashioned objects from a washboard to a stone pig. There is also the opportunity to visit the exhibition rooms. Secondary schools are also welcome – please phone us to discuss your requirements.

Possible topics

  • Victorians
  • Tenement life

Resources for schools

  • Teacher’s Notes for First or Second Level (with more detailed information and curriculum links) will be sent to you when a booking is made.
  • There is an illustrated guidebook for sale at the Tenement House. 

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact the Tenement House on 0141 333 0183 for a booking form.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Maximum class size: 33 with a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils
  • The Tenement House is open for educational visits in the morning. School programmes begin at 10am and last for 1–1½ hours, depending on class size.
  • Please inform staff when booking if you wish to visit the exhibition and small shop.
  • Access: we regret that there is no access for wheelchair users to this historic building. Please telephone us for more information on access or visit the Tenement House webpage.
  • Parking: coaches may drive to the Tenement House and drop pupils off, but coaches cannot park outside the building. Please phone us for further instructions.
  • Toilets: there’s one toilet available on the ground floor of the house.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.

Charges

  • There’s no charge for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-member schools are welcome but there’s an admission charge of £2 per pupil. 
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • Class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: please press the ‘Tenement House’ buzzer at the front door.
  • Trust staff will lead the school programme.
  • For the programme, your class will be split in two: one half will visit the education room and the other will visit the House. The pupils then swap over.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • Pupils don’t need to bring any materials for the school programme.
  • Pupils and teachers may take photos in the education room and outside (but not within the historic rooms of the House).
  • Coats and bags can be left next to the education room.
  • Please keep noise levels to a minimum when entering the close as the building still contains private residences.
  • Shop: pupils are welcome to visit the shop in small groups with teacher supervision.
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