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Clothes up on Tudor life

A visit to the Tower of London had an extra shine for my Year 5 as it was the prize in a draw run by Kingfisher Publications to mark the publication of their book Castles amp; Forts. It linked in rather usefully with our history topic, the Tudors.

The day began with a workshop by the book's author, Simon Adams, on what it would have been like living in the Tower during the Tudor period. The children particularly enjoyed hearing the gory details about Tudor plumbing and toilets.

After a guided tour to see the crown jewels we returned to the education centre for further work on Tudor life.

The highlight of the day was a chance for many of the children to dress up in period costume. One girl wore a replica of one of Princess Elizabeth's dresses which was worth pound;3,000. Others donned white gloves to handle a set of replica crown jewels. At the end of the day these were used to perform a mock coronation.

The day's activities will be used as stimulus for more history work as well as literacy and writing. However, I have a feeling that what will linger longest in the minds of the children are the details of what the Tudors did with the contents of their chamber pots.

Steve Smith, Year 5 teacher, St James C of E Junior School, Newham, East London

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