Course title:
Day School: A Working Woman in the Nineteenth Century - Sarah Wells
Jennifer Goldsmith
Course ID:
Start date:
End date:
Timetabled sessions
Date Times Hours
Sat 14 May 2022 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM 2
Total sessions: 1
Total number of classroom hours: 2
Independent online hours: 0
Total hours: 2
Sat 14 May 2022
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Total sessions:
Total number of classroom hours:
Independent online hours:
Total hours:
Online Learning with Zoom and Canvas
Leads to qualification?    No
Level:     Level 2 (level information)
Is this course part of a programme of study?
Programme details
Programme title:
Programme aims:
Programme description:
Who is this programme for?
Optional Activity Start date End date Fee
£6.40 or free on some courses if you are in receipt of some benefits
What skills or experience do I need to join this course?
This course is for beginners and improvers
This course is for beginners and improvers
What else do I need to know? Is there anything I need to provide?
Nothing other than your interest in and enthusiasm for history
Course aim:
To use diaries and other sources to investigate the life and activities of a late 19th century woman as she works to balance caring for, and providing for her family.
Course description:
Sarah Wells, nee Neal, yes the mother of H G Wells, but so much more. Born in Chichester, she worked for many years at the Sussex stately home of Uppark (now National Trust) first as a Lady's Maid, then Housekeeper. She also kept a diary. Told through her diary and other sources, we follow Sarah's life as she moves from Chichester to Ireland to begin her career as a Lady's Maid. Summoned home because of family illness she finds work at Uppark then, after marriage moves again but ultimately returns to Uppark as Housekeeper. The course provide revealing insights into life at Uppark, yes there are comparisons to Downton Abbey but also much more. Many of us will have had ancestors who were in 'service' this course sheds light on their story and the life of a woman working hard to care for and provide for her family.
By the end of the course I will be able to:
1. Identify the skills and attributes needed for a young woman to take up a career as a Lady's Maid and describe the type of person likely to be able to take up such a post
2. Identify properties associated with Sarah Wells at various stages in her life and state their geographical location
3. List individuals associated with Sarah Wells and state the nature of their relationship with her
How will I learn?

We expect you to attend your classroom sessions and make time to do any required learning activities on your own.

The WEA tutor will use a range of teaching and learning activities and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning. Your tutor will use tasks to see how you are learning, which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects, discussion, written or practical work. Your tutor will give you feedback on your learning and progress.

WEA Canvas online learning area

Whether your course is face to face or online, the WEA uses its online learning area, called Canvas, to support your learning. This includes using Canvas to think about and record your progress and to give your tutor and the WEA feedback on your course. Your tutor may put resources or activities on Canvas to use during or between lessons. If you want to understand more about our Canvas online learning platform please visit:

WEA online sessions/ courses- Zoom

If your course is online, you will join a virtual classroom using a weblink: the WEA uses a video-conferencing tool called Zoom. To use Zoom you will need a Laptop, Computer, Tablet or Smart phone which has speakers, a microphone and a video camera. For some courses, to submit work, we advise you to use a laptop or computer. For more information on Canvas and Zoom please visit

Information and advice

For more information and advice about our courses phone our support team on 0300 303 3464 or email:


We will ask you about any support you may need when you enrol. You can also telephone the Student Support Team on 0300 303 3464 or email The earlier you tell us about your needs the better. We will be able to provide help more quickly.

You can also find out about what support is available through our Student Handbook. This highlights what you can expect from WEA and what we expect from you.

For information about course fees and financial support whilst you study visit

For student support relating to specific learning need or disability visit

What next?

Your tutor will talk with you about what you could do following this course.

You can also find information on our website to support you to make decisions about what you can do next

You may benefit from speaking to the National Careers Service regarding your future career plans - call 0800 100 900 or visit their website