Our range of characters is listed below. Click on the ‘more info’ button for details of each one. If you have any questions at all, please do get in touch.
Stone Age Man
The children will travel back 6000 years to meet Bhal, a Stone Age man full of stories such as when the land was covered in ice and his ancestors nearly froze, and when the ice melted and the sea came! The children will learn how farming took over from hunting, and how to make tools out of wood and stone. There is even talk of a new material to make better tools! Bhal will show off his animal skin clothes and take the children on a mammoth hunt! Finally a cave painting is created with the children as a record of their visit to the Stone Age!
Professor Potts will take your class on a thrilling journey back in time to Ancient Egypt. Exploring the landscape will take us to the pyramids of the Old Kingdom to crack some hieroglyphic codes! We will consider the importance of the Nile and then discover the tombs of the New Kingdom. Our challenge is to unravel the secrets of the Afterlife, examining mummification and burial rituals of the Pharaohs. Using our new skills, we will finally solve the mystery of the tomb and may even encounter Isis, an Egyptian goddess of the Underworld! This exciting session is very interactive and includes role play, object handling, and detective work!
Meet Maccus. He owns a small shop selling takeaway food in the province of Britannia, which is part of the Roman Empire. Maccus will tell everyone about life under the Roman (children will get to experience how a bathhouse works), and find out which Ancient British tribe they are from. They will discuss with him and in groups what is good and bad about Roman rule and advise Maccus on whether he should rebel against the Romans or not. Maccus will bring many objects for the children to see, handle and enjoy.
Let's go Viking!
Meet Sven Longlegs, a Viking warrior - who's just not very good at the warrior part! In fact, he's lost, and needs some help finding his war party and his way back to his homeland. Sven will enlist the children's help, giving them Viking names. Together, they will practice their war cries, plan an attack on London, and using a map, help him work out his route home. Sven will show the children how to navigate using the sun with special crystals. They will practice their rowing skills, singing a Viking song to keep up morale. Sven is worried that in time, the Vikings will be forgotten, so using rune stones, he will tell the children a story for them to remember and pass on. This workshop is full of activity, and along the way, the children will learn about the structure of Viking society, the rights of Viking women, and the importance of their Gods.
A new king is on the throne, Harold Godwinson, but there are rumours of invasion. Wulfric will explain that the path to the throne is not easy. Using the children in role play, he will tell the story of the former king Edward, and his years of exile and conflict before being king. The children will help Wulfric decide who to support in the forthcoming battles. There are four contenders for the throne. The group will explore who they are, where they come from and who has the strongest claim to rule over England. At the end, the children will vote on who they wish on the throne. Wulfric will go and fight accordingly!
Odo is a Norman knight who fought in the great battle at Hastings. Now he lives in England on the land King William gave him as a reward. The children will learn all about the events of 1066 and the impact the Normans have had on Saxon England from someone who was there! Odo will show the children what a Norman knight wears and uses in battle and give them a chance to learn how to be a knight themselves! With the help of the children, Odo will recreate the great battle at Hastings. They will find out about Norman laws by taking part in a court scene, plan building a castle, and design a tapestry in the style of the Bayeux
The Peasants' Revolt and citizenship
Meet John Ball, the priest who played a prominent role in the peasants revolt of 1381. He WANTS JUSTICE for the people of England against an unfair society. He has been in prison more than once, is always in trouble with the authorities and the government think he is dangerous! Through role play, your children will learn about the structure of society in 1381, and how life was very different for the rich and everybody else. They will be asked to consider what is fair and what is not in a society. They will become part of the peasants revolt campaigning against the poll tax, carefully deciding their demands and their strategy to obtain justice. Although this is a history based workshop, the themes are very relevant to today’s world, and can equally enhance your citizenship curriculum.
It is the year 1543. King Henry is overjoyed to give the great news that England will have a new queen, Katherine Parr! The children need to learn how to be good courtiers to the new queen. So firstly they will learn the correct way to bow and curtsey. They will be taught to perform a play for the new queen, once presented to his Majesty by Cardinal Wolsey, Le Chateau Vert. His Majesty will reflect on his previous marriages and encourage the children to express their own knowledge and opinions of how the queens were treated. Throughout the visit the children will imagine they are living in Tudor times to feel what it was like to be at the Court of King Henry!
Good Queen Bess - Tudor Monarch
It is the early 1590s and Good Queen Bess is on her annual Royal Progress. Her majesty is delighted to be including your school in her itinerary! How honoured you are!The Queen is in positive mood - she has defeated the Spanish Armada and is in the prime of her life, strong and in control. Your children will be invited to be temporary members of her Privy Council and to grapple with the issues of the day - Spain is still a threat - there are secret coded messages to crack! The Queen has not named a successor - the Council need to consider who that will be. Why did the Queen never marry? Her Majesty will explain all in a light hearted game for all to join in with. The Queen loves music and dancing - once the business of the day has been concluded, the Council can enjoy themselves in song and dance. This workshop will immerse the children in the Tudor World. They will learn about life at the Tudor court, how the Elizabethan age has influenced British history, and how it compares to modern times.
William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the finest dramatist. In this workshop the children will be immersed in his world of Elizabethan theatre. Through role play and activities they will understand Shakespeare's writing style, what theatres were like, and how plays were staged. There is plenty of opportunity for acting and the children will experiment acting different types of characters. Some of Shakespeare's famous scenes will be explored and there will be a sword fight!
This visit examines the events and reasons behind the Golden Age of Elizabethan exploration. Children will be invited to go adventuring as crew for Sir Francis Drake on his epic circumnavigation of the world. They will also learn about other explorers and the pioneering journeys into the New World, the methods used to get there, the peoples and creatures encountered. This exciting visit covers navigation, weaponry, conditions at sea, politics and views of the time. Through drama games the children will be submerged into the Elizabethan World. Authentic maps and objects are used as well as period costume worn by the presenter. .
The Great Fire of London
Nell Gwyn, is a poor, working class girl from the streets of 17th Century London, now a famous actress and friend of King Charles II. She will visit your school to deliver an hour long workshop, giving her eyewitness account of the Great Fire of London in 1666. Your children will hear about London at the time, the constant risk of fires, especially at the theatres, how the fire began, and why it burned for so long. They will learn how the King himself helped put it out, and how a safer city was eventually rebuilt. The workshop also explores various forms of historical evidence and there are objects for the children to see. Keen to encourage young actors like her, Nell Gwyn will involve the children in role play and a guided drama improvisation to music!
The ultimate Victorians!
Your children will get the chance to meet one of Britain's most famous Monarchs and her Prince Consort as they take you around Victorian Britain on a whistle-stop tour of what made Queen Victoria's reign so important to our history.
Step on board the Royal Carriage and alight at key places of Victorian history including schools, workhouses, factories and eventually back to the palace again. Perhaps your class can help teach the Queen a few things about how her subjects lived their lives on the way?
The Lady With The Lamp
In her day she was said to be more famous than Queen Victoria! Florence Nightingale was a pioneering nurse, writer and noted statistician. Meeting Miss Nightingale will help the children understand her motivation and achievements, and perhaps inspire them to be doctors and nurses for the future! Miss Nightingale will use objects to reveal stories from her life, and through role play, a Crimean hospital situation will be re-created where some children will be wounded soldiers, others nurses. Different types of wounds are treated and bandaged and the children will experience the problems faced in Scutari hospital.
Bryant and May East End Matchgirl
It's 1888 and the workers at Bryant and May are going on strike. Making matches is badly paid and dangerous, and the factory managers don't care. But if the strikers get sacked, they could starve. Meet matchgirl Mary Driscoll, and participate in her story. Experience her poor childhood in London's East End. Investigate the poisonous chemical used for making matches. Work hard in the factory production line, and feel the fear as the managers bully you. Speak out about your mistreatment, using actual quotes from the match workers. Walk out of the factory in protest, share resources and go on marches. Stand shoulder to shoulder as you face the managers with your requests. Will they finally agree? Will the strike succeed? With roleplay and object handling (not real matches!) to engage your children, this workshop puts the strike into context within industrial history.
World War I soldier
Our first world war soldier has just returned from the trenches and is full of colourful stories about his experiences in the ’Great War’. The children will be fascinated by the authentic artefacts he has to show them, and he will put them through their paces with military drill!
World War II
Meet Mary Spencer-Churchill, the youngest daughter of Winston Churchill, and find out what she did during the Second World War. Your children will be cast as recruits for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (The Women's branch of the British Army) and be taken through a training day. They will learn such duties as 'manning the gun', guarding the gun barracks, making meals, filling sandbags and participate in parade inspection. The children will learn about the Battle of Britain and undertake an aircraft recognition activity where they will be taken through the basic principles of Aircraft Spotting. There may be time to relax at the end of the training with a tea dance!