Education was highly valued in ancient Egypt but it was only for boys. Some girls may have learned to read and write, but their main role was to stay at home and help their mothers.

HierogLetL250Being able to read and write was the key to getting a good job as a scribe, so parents tried hard to send their sons to school. Education was expensive and not all families could afford it. Boys who did not go to school were expected to work. They had a practical education, often learning the family trade by helping older relatives and copying what they did.

Royal children did not attend the same school as the other children. They had their own school inside the palace whereas most boys went to the temples and government offices where they would work when they grey up.

The boys started school at the age of five. They used wooden boards and learned how to write the hieratic script used for official documents. They made their own reed brushes and ground up colours to mix with water to make ink.

Older students learned to draw the beautiful hieroglyphs used for religious texts and practised writing the kind of official letters and documents they would come across in their working lives. They also studied mathematics so they could keep accounts and work out taxes.

Some students took specialist subjects such as foreign languages, history, geography, astronomy and law.

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