School Workshops

The Tudors

Henry VIIISuitable for …
Key Stages 2 and 3.

Cross-curricular …
Music, History, PE, Dance.

National curriculum skills covered …
communication; working with others; improving own learning and performance; problem solving; and thinking skills


Who were the Tudors? How did they dress? What did their music sound like? What instruments did they play? How did they speak? What food did they eat? Why did Henry VIII have 6 wives? Why did Queen Elizabeth love the theatre and the plays of Shakespeare?

Why did the Tudors burn so many as witches?

A hands-on one day workshop exploring the lives of ordinary people from 1485 to 1603, the reigns of Henry VII to his grand-daughter, Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth 1590Choose from the following elements for your day, so that pupils can:

  • sing Tudor songs (including one written by Henry VIII — and it isn’t Greensleeves!)
  • learn how to dance the most popular Tudor dances: the pavan, galliard and la volta (Queen Elizabeth’s favourite)
  • learn about Tudor music and Tudor musical instruments
  • play a Tudor instrument
  • compose a song about the Tudors in Tudor style
  • learn about Shakespeare’s theatre and his use of music in his plays
  • learn about social class — and how this was obvious in the clothes you wore
  • learn about Tudor crime and punishment … and be the jury in a witch trial
  • decide where the budget cuts are in Queen Elizabeth’s court (she really did have to decide this!)
  • interview Andy and Ian about their lives as Tudor musicians, including projected Tudor art as illustrations