Vernon Terrace

Sphinx Curriculum


Term 4 Topic

OFF WITH HER HEAD

Inspired by our Book - Spymaster(first Blood) -Let’s travel back in time to meet the terrifying Tudors.

This half term, we’ll start by visiting Hampton Court Palace the residence of King Henry VIII - and ask the question...

What sort of man would order the beheading of his wife? - Was she really that bad?

Come with us as we travel back in time to the 1500s and meet the terrifying Tudors, a domineering dynasty that changed our history.

Let's discover an opulent court where dancing and singing goes hand in hand with swift falls from favour - and even swifter falling of heads!

We'll develop our painting skills in miniature, solve riddles and protect our necks with a large white ruff.

Come with us as we flex our detective muscles and become criminal investigators. Can we find out the facts or will the evidence from the past just bemuse us? It's our turn to take part in one of the most famous trials the world has ever known.

During this half term, we’ll meet a very important figure from history who will give us a problem to solve. Online research will help us to write biographies about influential people of the period, and we’ll use source materials to create a Tudor timeline. Tudor portraits will provide us with the inspiration to create royal paintings; we’ll look at a courtly dance and compose Tudor music. Our geography skills will help us to compare maps of Tudor London to present day London and plot Anne Boleyn’s journey to her execution. Internet research will help us learn more about Henry’s life, his marriages and his break from the Roman Catholic church.



Help your child prepare for their project

The Tudors were a domineering dynasty who changed the course of history. Why not visit a local museum to learn more about Tudor times? You could also visit a town with Tudor architecture. Look out for black and white, timber-framed buildings. They will be easy to spot! Or visit your local library to find out more about this fascinating family.


What will you choose to do at home?

  • Paint or draw a portrait of someone in your family. What objects or symbols could be included to show the person’s character? Embellish the picture with different materials to add interest and texture.
  • What can you find out about Anne’s family and her childhood? Put your findings in a presentation to show your class.
  • Make sketches of Tudor costumes for children and adults, rich and poor. Use websites and books from your local library to find out about garments, styles and decorative details.
  • Make a model of the Tower of London – or perhaps an instrument of torture, complete with fake bloodstains!
  • Design a Tudor snakes and ladders-style board game, with pitfalls and lucky breaks on the way to freedom from the Tower!
  • Make a Tudor brooch, ring or headdress. Take a photograph of yourself wearing your item in your most stately pose!
  • Hold a heated debate in your family about house rules. Video the event, take a vote and record the results. Was there a worthy winner?
  • Do you have horrible humour? Write some ‘knock-knock’ or ‘what do you call a...?’ jokes about grisly Tudor facts. Present a jester-style stand-up performance for your class.
  • Find and copy examples of monarchs’ signatures. Can you create a magnificent, Tudor-style moniker of your own with a signature to match?
  • Visit your local library or museum (or both!) and find out about your area in Tudor times. Are there any maps, buildings or artefacts from that era? Create a scrapbook or poster of photos, leaflets and any other information you discover.
  • Research online to discover more about Tudor buildings. Find out about the jetties, styles of chimney, and wattle and daub. Why were the walls white and the timbers black? Record your findings using appropriate software on a single side of paper with illustrations and notes.
  • Tudor times were a great period of sea voyages and global exploration. Find out the names of some Tudor explorers and the new products they brought home. Be creative in how you record your results. 

Useful links

The Tudors

British Monarchy – Tudor Monarchs – History on the net

A timeline chronicling the reign of the Tudor monarchs.

How the Tudor dynasty shaped modern Britain – BBC History

Suitable for very able readers, this comprehensive site provides information about various subjects including Henry VIII and his wives, daily life in Tudor Britain and Elizabeth I.

NOTE: There are references to Henry’s extra-marital partners and illegitimate children, so it is advised that each section is screened before it is watched by your child.

Tudor England – English History

A variety of resources including quizzes, images, eyewitness accounts and Anne Boleyn’s speech at her execution.

Tudor and Stuarts Class Clips – BBC Bitesize

A selection of short videos covering important aspects of Tudor and Stuart history.

The life of Henry VIII

Henry VIII – Timeline – The History Learning Site

A timeline of the life of Henry VIII.

More information about Henry VIII – BBC History

An information page about the life of Henry VIII and a very brief summary of his wives.

Anne Boleyn’s Marriage to Henry VIII – In the Tudor Trail

A timeline of events leading to the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Rowan Atkinson sings as King Henry VIII – CBBC

A Horrible Histories video of a catchy song explaining the Reformation.

Thomas Cromwell

The truth about Thomas Cromwell – Historyextra

Detailed information about the life and death of Thomas Cromwell. Suitable for teachers.

Who was the real Thomas Cromwell? – BBCiwonder

Information, images and a video about the life of Thomas Cromwell.


Hans Holbein the Younger

Hans Holbein the Younger – The National Gallery

Information and images from the National Gallery about the famous court painter.

Hans, the Younger Holbein – The complete works – hans-holbein.org

A commercial site where paintings and sketches by Holbein can be viewed.

The life and death of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn, The Most Happy – Tudor History

Information about the life of Henry VIII’s second wife.

Anne Boleyn Letters – The Anne Boleyn Files

A collection of letters written by Anne Boleyn to a variety of people, including Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and Cardinal Wolsey.

Tudor crime and punishments

Tudor crime and punishment – Tudor Times

A website which outlines different laws and punishments during Tudor times.

NOTE: Some children may be sensitive towards the information included on this site.

Tudor music

Tudor music – BBC School Radio

A selection of eight sound clips including Tudor songs, dances and instrumental music.

Tudor dance

How did Tudor people dance? – BBC Bitesize

A two-minute video exploring Tudor dance.

Strictly Come Tudor Dancing – heritagelincolnshire.org

Sheet music and dance steps forPastime with Good Company, written by Henry VIII.


Tudor palaces

Britain’s Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court – BBC Two

A collection of articles and videos about Hampton Court Palace, take from the BBC Two programmeBritain’s Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court, shown in 2016.

Note: This website contains a video about the death of Jane Seymour, suggesting that she had a caesarean section.

Historic Royal Palaces – hrp.org

Links to information about six important royal palaces including Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London.

The story of Hampton Court Palace – hrp.org

Information and images explaining the history of Hampton Court Palace from the time of Henry VIII to the present day.

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots – BBC History

A short biography of Mary, Queen of Scots, suitable for teachers.

Life and Deathline of Mary, Queen of Scots – National Museums of Scotland

A detailed timeline of the life and death of Mary, Queen of Scots.

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