Our Tudor school visit offers an outstanding opportunity for historical enquiry through artefacts. Henry VIII and his wives (not to forget his jester!) is a very special day in school, packed with learning. Designed so that pupils get the opportunity to meet King Henry VIII, it is also very hands-on with lots of short and stimulating workshops. In our local area, both of us spend the day in school and can work with several classes at no extra cost. Greg begins the day as King Henry and will usually change into Henry's Court Jester, Will Sommers, whilst Lisa becomes each of the six wives in turn. Further afield, the day can easily be adapted for one Specialist to deliver an outstanding Tudor day in school, single-handed.
The royal visitors will lead a series of half hour sessions on a given aspect of Henry's life or Tudor life in general and, depending on numbers, some of the sessions can be teacher-led to accommodate several classes separately.
Coming face to face really enables a very exciting and direct form of learning, as children interrogate these fascinating characters from history. Key learning objectives on each wife and other aspects of Henry's life are always included.
The typical structure for the day is
Catherine of Aragon introduces
Good King Hal and herself.
Children are dressed in Tudor
clothing and work as servants for
Henry, laying his table for a fine
feast as he introduces the day.
Anne Boleyn usually enters part
way through this first session and
causes a stir!
Henry or Jane Seymour display a replica
ink well and pounce pot and these are
passed around for young scholars to
handle, along with an authentically
reproduced copy of Gilbertus Angelicus
(complete with urine chart and other
A replica horn book is handled,
illuminated letters are discussed and
children set about copying out the Lord's
Prayer using a class set of goose feather
quill pens and ink.
Children are taught various Tudor Dances by King Henry or Anne of Cleves, discussing different types and why rich and poor people dance them. This session works well in a hall and children learn a courtly Pavan; the follow-my-leader-style Farandol and a peasant's Branle. (If either Royal personage catches the other dancing a branle, much hilarity ensues!)
Catherine Howard explains the basic (and ancient) concept of the four humours, on which Tudor medicine was based. Children are asked to chop and grind ingredients in pestle and mortars to make typical and authentic Tudor remedies. Some of the remedies would actually work for various reasons and these are explored ... but Catherine fully expects that raisins, lettuce and petals, ground up and mixed together will cure bubonic plague - so feel free to comment, tutors!
Pastimes, Toys and Games
Court Jester, Will
Henry's failing health
and laments his ill
humour. He shows
the children some
juggling and regrets
that the King no
longer finds it
Children's Games is
displayed and games
are identified and
explained for children
to play. An outstanding
collection of replica toys
is available for children
Crime and Punishment
Depending on numbers, this session
can be teacher-led. A short playlet,
exploring the fate of Anne Boleyn
can be shared for group reading
and/or children engage in matching
activities looking at individual,
Tudor "crimes" and how they were
likely to be punished. Optionally,
classes can re-enact scenes in
groups as role play activities, linking
Tudor Rose badge-making
Whilst the heraldry of the houses of York and Lancaster are discussed, a Yorkist livery badge of the Rose En Soleil and a Tudor Rose shield can be passed around. Children then craft their own Tudor Rose Badge, with paper or card, pens or pencils to be provided in school, please. (We provide safety pins but will doubtless be bamboozled by any mention of sticky tape!)
We usually end the day with groups back together in the hall for storytelling and/or a Mummers' Play of the Battle of Bosworth which underlines some of the learning from the day in a lighthearted fashion as confident children are asked to get involved in telling the tale.
We work fully in role as King Henry and his wives. This means that we use our subject knowledge to respond to questions and talk as they would do. To achieve this we use a medieval-flavoured pattern of speech to lend a realistic feel to our words whilst remaining clear enough for children to understand. The overall experience for children is then an immersive one where they feel they have truly met Henry and gained a picture of his life. The sessions are interactive and involve all of the children.
For more pictures of replica artefacts from the day, please visit our Tudor Replica Artefact Galleries.
We understand the need for explorative learning and incorporate sensory opportunities. Our King Henry VIII visit into SEN schools is less structured and if required, we can visit in costume but not in role and include basic Makaton.
(The rates quoted below cover the service which is delivered by one of us in certain circumstances - please see our Terms and Conditions.)
The costs quoted below cover the service which can be delivered by one or two Specialists, dependent on your area and other factors (please see our Terms
and Conditions). Full days can be booked up to one hour's drive from
our base. Reduced full days, half days and bookings where both
Specialists are required can take place in schools up to forty minutes
drive from our base.
Full Day - (One Specialist, 9am-3pm)
The full day rate is £265.00 from Autumn 2018 plus mileage (55p per mile round trip from LE9 9HG)
Reduced Full Day - (One Specialist, 10am-3pm)
The reduced full day rate is £220.00 from Autumn 2018 plus mileage (55p per mile round trip from LE9 9HG)
Full Day - Double Rate (Two Specialists)
The full day rate for two Specialists is £320.00 from Autumn 2018 plus mileage (£1.10 per mile round trip from LE9 9HG)
Half days can incorporate some of the above sessions. The cost for ½ day is £170.00 from Autumn 2018 (55p per mile round trip from LE9 9HG)