Just before Half Term, the Year 5 children visited Hever Castle, as part of their Humanities study of the Tudors. The visit was a fantastic opportunity to take their learning out of the classroom and put what they had learnt this term into context. It was a full-on and very stimulating day and it was super to see the children enjoying themselves so much, whilst learning in such an interactive and immersive way.
A dynamic and very hands-on workshop explored life during Tudor times. The children were transported back in time in the castle’s Think Tank. They were introduced to the Tudor class structure, from royalty down to the peasants and everyone had an opportunity to don the appropriate hat- whether it be regally jewelled, fabulously feathered or just common cotton. Lots of questions and discussion ensued, as the children’s Tudor knowledge was reinforced and extended. Finally, there was time to play, so out came the weaving looms, clay marbles and board games. Year 5 pupils thoroughly enjoyed learning a new skill and the simplicity of the entertainment only served to highlight how different life would have been if they were living in the time of the Tudors.
Next the children were given a guided tour of the castle itself. Our guide was full of fascinating facts and stories of: Henry VIII and fabulous feasts and parties, hunting trips, priest holes and floods. They demonstrated how both the rich and poor of Tudor society lived. There were many examples of fine Tudor paintings and antiques. The children were fascinated by the castle’s collection of armour and weapons which includes beheading swords dating from the 16th century and several bride’s scolds, contraptions used to prevent gossiping women from talking. We were treated to stories of reported sightings of the ghost of a man who sits in Anne Boleyn’s bedroom.
The day finished with some energy-burning time in the stunning autumnal castle grounds and on the amazing adventure playground: a very large and complex castle with dungeons, turrets, a drawbridge and secret tunnels. All the children agreed that they had learnt so much about the Tudors and that it was great to see and experience what life would have been like for people in Tudor times.