elizabeth I

Outstanding KS2 history lessons on Life in Tudor Times

Although the Tudors are not a unit in their own right in the current National Curriculum for history, we can still continue to teach them in one of  four ways:

1. We can make it the main focus for the thematic study: e.g. looking at how the role of the monarch has changed from Tudor times to today. The focus in 80% on Henry VIII and Elizabeth focusing on their portraits and what they tell us about them as rulers. The rest looks at how the monarchy is presented in the media today. Alternatively you might look at ‘voyages of exploration’ focusing heavily on the Tudors.

2. We can exploit any strong local links you might have e.g. schools within visiting distance of a Tudor palace

3. We can still teach it outside the National Curriculum. This need not mean extra time for history. We simply shave off time from the other units to make space for a truncated Tudor unit.

If you’re an academy of course you just teach it because its a great KS2 topic which has stood the test of time.

Whatever you decide, all existing outstanding lessons provide superb opportunities for excellent learning .

Make sure you have the brilliant medium term planner with you, judged outstanding  by OFSTED, when you look at these lessons so you can see how well they are sequenced and how they each address a distinct and important concept that helps pupils to think historically.

Planner and assessment task

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Planning for teaching Life in Tudor times at KS2

As you know, the requirement to study Life in Tudor Britain was mysteriously and inexplicably removed from the Key Stage…

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Teaching Life in Tudor Times for KS2

The world has gone mad! Gove has axed the Tudors from Key Stage 2 history. My advice. Carry on regardless….

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portrait of henry viii
Life in Tudor Times – KQ1 – 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…

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portrait of henry viii
Life in Tudor Times – KQ1 part 2 – Great starter on interpretations of Henry VIII

Working closely with academic authors, in this case Catherine Fletcher, always gives a fascinating insight into what historians want to…

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Life in Tudor Times – KQ2 – Why did Henry Break with Rome? Love or religion?

This KS2 history enquiry revolves around Henry VIII’s divorce and the break with Rome, one of the best-known stories in…

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Life in Tudor Times – KQ2 part 2 – the highs and lows of Catherine of Aragon

The context of this lesson was to explore the highs and lows of Catherine of Aragon as a lead up…

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Life in Tudor Times – KQ2 part 3 – History and literacy – Making sense of a letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

OR 14 ways of telling this is a love letter Pupils are given a copy of a letter from Henry…

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Life in Tudor Times – KQ3 – Through the Keyhole

This lesson features the lives of 4 different Tudor people as evidenced from a key document that they each have…

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Life in Tudor Times – KQ3 part 2 – Linking history with numeracy; a Tudor enquiry

More glass than wall? Is this a fair description of Hardwick Hall? And how do we find out? This SMART…

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Elizabeth I portrait. Why was it rejected?
Life in Tudor Times – KQ4 – Elizabeth I portraits – things aren’t what they seem

This powerful lesson on Tudor portraits as propaganda gives pupils the chance to appreciate that things aren’t always what they…

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Preparing a feast for the Queen
Life in Tudor Times – KQ4 part 2 – Get ready – the queen is coming!

This enquiry focuses on helping children to learn about the power and authority of Queen Elizabeth and to appreciate the…

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The Armada's route
Life in Tudor Times – KQ5 – How was the Spanish Armada defeated by the smaller English fleet? Using a technique called Waiting room

This lesson works really well because the tension you build into the waiting room activity gets all the class involved…

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Life in Tudor Times – KQ6 – How did people enjoy themselves in Elizabethan England?

This KS2 enquiry comprises three outstanding activities: 6a. Advising the film director to imaginatively reconstruct the scene using a variety…

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

A tightly structured series of activities on the reasons why the Mary Rose mysteriously sank which incorporates: a. A history…

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pound coin explained
Henry VIII on the money. The strange case of the one pound coin

This is not so much a full lesson as an introduction to the Break with Rome.   It revolves around the…

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