The Specialists


Henry VIII

and his Wives

School Visit


Children playing Castles, a Tudor game using marbles.


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

as follows:



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

Sommers discusses

Henry's failing health

and laments his ill

humour.  He shows

the children some

juggling and regrets

that the King no

longer finds it

diverting.  Breughel's

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

to enjoy.


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

                                                          to PSHE.


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.


SEN Schools

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 day

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)


Where does the King want his pizzle pot to be placed?

Tudor board game, Merrels.