I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Andrea Hertach Lawrence B. A., M. Ed., and the Chief Educational Officer of O.E.I. Onsite Education Inc. O.E.I. is a registered educational charity that offers onsite, curriculum enhancement workshops, demonstrations and performances to schools, camps, community groups and seniors facilities across Ontario. My husband, Matthew Lawrence, and I run the organization and are the head instructors of both our active programmes the Canadian Improv Showcase and the Knights in the Classroom. 

The Knights in the Classroom brings hands-on, historical experiences to life using artifacts and activities designed by our team of experienced actors and retired educators in role in order to enable students to immerse themselves in historical learning by seeing, hearing and doing things our ancestors considered a part of daily life. We explore a wide array of curriculum and grade levels and offer full customization to meet all your students unique learning needs. 

As a retired teacher with over 32 years of classroom experience I have been able to lead our team to design historical experiences that are curriculum based in a multidisciplinary way. Our group offers demonstrations in Historical European Martial Arts featuring our talented instructors in reproduction armour, showcasing the teachings of a medieval manuscript written in 1399 C.E. by an Italian sword master.

They break down the science of battle and explain the difference between real combat and what is seen in TV and movies. We also built a school size, historically accurate, catapult and stockade to offer a rich, in depth experience. 

We offer Olympic fencing workshops sponsored by the Ontario Fencing Association providing all the necessary equipment to try this amazing sport that has such a rich, historical connection. The workshop features the history and evolution of the sport and then students get an introductory lesson including time to try their hand at actually dueling/fencing.

We also offer workshops exploring Ancient Sports & Games, Watercolour Painting, Drumming From Around the World, Pirates: Myths vs. Reality, The Evolution of Arms and Armour, Roman Shield Formations, The Armoury and much more! 

For those teachers who might also teach drama, our skilled team also offer an assortment of Stage Combat workshops for secondary age students including both hand to hand and armed (sword) choreography. 

Since we started the Knights in the Classroom in 2012, we have visited almost 700 schools across Ontario – many multiple times: I guess some people do like history to repeat itself!

You can learn more about our programming at www.onsiteeducation.org or www.knightsintheclassroom.com

Contributing Writer