The Tudors

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Aims and objectives
This is a fascinating collection of sources which can be used to support the classroom study of the Tudor period. It also provides teachers with a wealth of background information and detail to enhance their own subject knowledge.

Previous knowledge
This is primarily a teacher resource to enable identification and selection of appropriate evidence or study materials for the classroom. A basic understanding of the Tudor period would be advantageous.

In the classroom
Junior classes may find evidence here for most of what is prescribed under 'Britain and the wider world in Tudor times: significant individuals and events: Henry VIII and the break with Rome; the Armada; the reign of Elizabeth; Walter Raleigh and exploration; everyday life: life for the rich and poor; education; settlers and America; food and entertainment; Tudor buildings in the local area; the impact of the closing down of a religious community on the local area'. Secondary groups studying Britain 1500-1750 have part of their demands met in 'crowns and people: the major political, religious and social changes affecting Tudor people including the local area'.

Much that is presented here must be previewed by teachers, selected and adapted for particular classroom use. A good number of them have proved successful already with pupils. The Essex Record Office has found that children with special or additional needs respond well. Cracking Tudor handwriting is fun for anyone.

The most able can be pushed to profit from the inventory of St.Osyth's monastery and encouraged to research for themselves the 'skull of Seint Osithes' or challenged to identify the 'Pryor…the Sellarer…Baylye or Chaunter' from a standard work on monasteries (remember the variable spellings of the sixteenth century and the usefulness of the Oxford English Dictionary).

But history is more than the relation of events. There is scope here for tackling difficult concepts like interpretations of history, e.g. the use of Queen Elizabeth's Tilbury speech to adorn the County Council's Chambers.

History should be properly complicated by detail. Once in a while in a romp through national history children should be encouraged to pause and given time to consider an aspect of the past. A full look is given here at Queen Elizabeth's visit to Ingatestone Hall in 1561, to a rich young man's first days in lodgings in London, (John Petre's Middle Temple Accounts, 1567-70) and to Raleigh's Expedition to Roanoke, 1585, (though Raleigh was not allowed to go there is a draft here of what to do in the new world which was drawn up for this venture).

How we know about the past is a constant theme of this material, hence the significant place given to references.

Curriculum references
History – KS2:
1a-b; 2a-d; 3; 4a-b; 10

History – KS3:
1; 2a-e; 3a-b; 4a-b; 5a-c; 7a-e; 9

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