The world has gone mad! Gove has axed the Tudors from Key Stage 2 history. My advice. Carry on regardless. It is too good a learning experience for pupils for them to miss out on. if you want to see how you could infiltrate the Tudors into the current curriculum look at the ‘curriculum models’ sections. Its amazing how creative we can be!

For Tudor Planning Sheet see MEDIUM TERM PLANNING.  Detailed KS2 plan with full set of learning objectives and imaginative learning activities and outcomes linked to the Outstanding Lessons on the site and resources from the other best resource providers.

Outstanding Lessons

Through the Keyhole

This fully resourced lesson (with suggestions for differentiation) features the lives of 4 different Tudor people as evidenced from a key document that they each have in common, namely an inventory. By studying the nature, value and amount of possessions each person had, pupils can start to draw conclusions about their occupation, wealth and position in society.

Get ready – the queen is coming!

Using the Mantle of the Expert approach pupils have to quickly research the food and entertainment for Elizabeth I impending visit, but be careful her expectations are high!  Full resources with PowerPoint and weblinks.

Elizabeth I portraits – things aren’t what they seem

A really excellent and engaging lesson (with PowerPoint and other resources) exploring why Elizabeth 1’s portraits seem to show her growing younger as she got older.  You will find links to a helpful diagnostic assessment task, mark scheme and samples of KS2 work.

Henry VIII a question of interpretations. Could you spot Henry VIII in a police line-up?

This is a really fun lesson which shows children what is meant by historical interpretations in an engaging and accessible way. It appeals to both visual and kinaesthetic learners by using the police line-up approach.

Why was the Spanish Armada defeated?

Using a strategy called  waiting room  to help pupils to work out their own explanation as to why the Armada failed.

Life in Tudor times: highs and lows of the life of Catherine of Aragon

From sequencing to living graph

Henry VIII on the money

What can coins tell us about him?

SMART TASK Why on earth did the Mary Rose, pride of the Tudor fleet, sink so quickly under the nose of Henry VIII himself? 

SMART TASK History and literacy. Making sense of a letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn.

SMART TASK Linking history with numeracy: More glass than wall Pupils work out whether this is a fair description of a Tudor Palace.

Teaching Life in Tudor Times to Key Stage 2

The lessons here broadly follow three themes;

  • the appearance and power of Henry and his daughter Elizabeth who, between them, ruled for over three quarters of the 16th century
  • the difference in home life and leisure of the rich, poor and yeomen
  • the key events of the Break With Rome and the Spanish Armada

You will find plenty of innovative ways of using Tudor portraits not least the Police Line-up for Henry VIII and the rescuing of a doomed portrait painter from Elizabeth’s Tower of London.  Children are offered a history mystery as well as a living graph to help them to understand the issues behind Henry’s Break with Rome, with Henry appearing in the ‘Big Brother’ diary room at one stage!!

The lessons on the Armada are great fun, especially the Waiting Room drama and also lead to excellent explanatory writing because of the quality of the preparatory speaking and listening.

As more work becomes available we will be featuring some really imaginative ‘Through the Keyhole’ examinations of typical Tudor homes using inventories to help reconstruct what one might have looked like and how the owner might have dressed.


If you are looking for a way of looking at Tudor lifestyles using evidence, then the V&A has a nice activity in which pupils study an inventory in its original form, as well as a transcript, and then have to answer a set of multiple choice questions.  The V&A has a very, clear and accessible way of finding authentic material presented in an engaging way for children. The Museum has taken great care to translate and then simplify the documents.

You can do far worse than beginning your search for interactive ideas on this topic by visiting the showme section of the 24 hour Museum site.


Pupils in role as English and Spanish historians argue over what really caused the Armada to fail

Henry VIII on the money. But where?

Year 4 pupils’ attempt to create their own living graph showing the highs and lows of Catherine of Aragon’s life.