New for (Twenty) Nineteen: Spring Term for Primary Schools

We are really pleased we were able to run 2 new workshops over the course of the Spring Term.

Putting on a Tudor Pageant

In January, Year 1 pupils from Charles Darwin visited us as part of the Putting on a Pageant project. The project run by Curious Spark enables pupils to discover the stories behind Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to Norwich in 1578. The pupils started the session by playing a tailor-made indenture game which not only gave questions and answers about the Record Office itself but also looked at Tudor iconography.

Queen Elizabeth Illuminated MS

Illuminated Initial of Queen Elizabeth I. NRO, Y/C 2/10

Next we looked at how Tudor documents were created. The children got the opportunity to touch the various equipment and materials used for this process, including parchment used for writing on, oak galls used to make ink and quills for writing with, and wax seals used to show the authenticity of the document.

Pupils were able to understand how we preserve Tudor documents, by looking at seal socks and watching a video of our box making machine before creating their very own box to take home with them.

The class were given a short document handling session, which briefly explained the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for touching documents before they studied some real Tudor documents, written during the reign on Queen Elizabeth I. Their new knowledge of Tudor iconography was put to great use as pupils were able to spot some of the Tudor symbols on the documents and had a closer look at Queen Elizabeth I’s Great Seal.


Pupil and Teacher looking at a replica of the Great Seal of Queen Elizabeth I

At the end of the session pupils used quill and ink to have a go at creating their own illuminated initial. All of the pupils enjoyed the session with pupils saying ‘The Archive Centre is the best place to go’ and ‘I really enjoyed coming here and want to come back with my mum’.


Pupils looking at original documents

The Norwich Strangers

The Year 4 children at Wensum Junior School, have been working with theatre group ‘Come Yew In’ learning about the Strangers in Norwich. We adapted version of our ‘Norfolk: A County of Welcome’ workshop which looks at the contribution of refugees to Norfolk over the last 500 years, the children worked in teams to add information to a timeline and answer questions. They read a transcript of a letter from a Stranger in Norwich to his wife and children in Ypres dated 1567, where the writer tries to put them at ease by saying ‘you would never believe how friendly the people are, the English are quite loving to our nation’.

Using their new found palaeography skills the children identified items from a 1594 inventory of Lady Jane Buttes (NRO, DN/INV 11/14). The class were interested in how much items were worth and were planning to look up how much how much £1 in 1594 would be worth today. We were all fascinated to find items listed from the armoury.

Capture 1

Looking at clothing included in the inventory of Lady Jane Buttes, 1594. NRO, DN/INV 11/14

dn-inv_11-14 armour ed

Items in the Armoury in the inventory of Lady Jane Buttes, 1594. NRO, DN/INV 11/14

The children stated ‘I liked rolling out the list and matching the cards’ and ‘Lady Jane had more than 100 things’

We look forward to working with more schools over the next term.


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