Including larger than life, interactive performances, open-ended workshops and more intimate classroom-based sessions, our unique range of History Workshops and Shows for Primary Schools offers pupils privileged perspectives on the lives of people in the past – and asks important questions about ways that the past has affected the present. And there are four exciting options awaiting you: The Brilliant Britons, Time Travel Theatre, Time Travel Tourists and Historical Maths.
Our workshops are available as in-person sessions and live streamed workshops - all of which are listed below.
"Ten out of ten! I was taken aback by just how good the Time Travel Theatre actors were – and by the impacts the workshops had on the pupils!” History Co-ordinator, Christ Church Primary, Leigh
New for 2022 - Long to Reign Over Us! – Jubilee Celebration Workshops (whole-school)
2022 is a huge milestone in the momentous life of Queen Elizabeth II, as she marks seventy years on the throne with a Platinum Jubilee. So, knowing that schools up and down the land will want to celebrate this unique achievement, we’ve developed Long to Reign Over Us – a joyous and reflective programme of workshops for every primary school year group.
Able to accommodate the whole of up to a two-form entry school in a single day, Long to Reign Over Us opens with a whole-school assembly (which can be streamed if needs be), looking at some "landmark" British monarchs - and exploring the role of monarchy today. The rest of the day is divided into a series of drama-based workshops looking at ways in which Britain has changed over the course of the Queen's long reign. Each year group takes its own focus as follows …
- Reception: exploring ways in which the clothes we wear have changed since 1952 …
- Year 1: comparing and contrasting the toys children played with seventy years ago to the ones they enjoy today …
- Year 2: looking at how our homes have changed during the Queen’s reign …
- Year 3: entertainment then and now – what are the similarities? And what are the differences?
- Year 4: investigating the evolution of travel since Elizabeth II first came to the throne …
- Year 5: focusing on ways in which families have changed over the last three and a half decades …
- Year 6: getting to grips with how we communicate with each other – what changes have there been since the coronation?
"The children had an absolutely amazing time and learnt so much. The children were so convinced that Neil Armstrong had travelled through our time machine that one of children had made! They were so engaged throughout the workshop, asked so many questions and recalled lots of information that was shared with them. I look forward to applying our learning over the next few weeks!" Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School
The Brilliant Britons
Ten thousand years of British history in just an hour and a half!
Join our quarreling historians, Professor Past and Dr Dunne, as they trace their families’ roots from the dawn of the Stone Age to the end of the Second World War – taking in over ten thousand years of British history in a fast-paced and action-packed hour and a half. This hilarious and highly interactive presentation has the unique feature of covering key features of every age demanded by the National Curriculum, from the birth of civilization to the Roman invasion and from the Viking incursions to the rise of the Saxons – as well as paying brief visits to the bakery at the heart of the Great Fire of London, St Paul's Cathedral in Victorian times and the Home Front in World War II. Not only that, of course, but the experience can be enjoyed by up to 420 pupils in a single day - as well as supporting schools approaches to teaching British values.
"The students gained knowledge about WW1- how it began and life as a soldier, they developed their role play skills in the scenario workshop and learnt about how valuable team work is. We would definitely recommend you to other schools around the area, as well as other teachers who we are friends with. It was a really successful day and the children haven't stopped talking about it." Ditton Primary School
History Through Drama
Like most schools, you probably have different year groups looking at different periods - posing challenges to whole-school approaches. Which is where History Through Drama comes along - allowing individual classes from EYFS to Year 6 opportunities to take part in age-appropriate drama activities designed to explore landmark people and moments from the times they're exploring.
“Wow, can I just say how fantastic you are. We had a brilliant day and the kids loved it. Thank you for making our history day so special. Thank you once again. Your communication was brilliant and your ideas were super!" Walmsley Primary School
"Thank you from us all for the fantastic workshops - I have had so much positive feedback from the different classes and the content you delivered was spot on for each of the groups. I was in awe of how easy you made it look, which as a teacher with 20 years experience I don't say very often! - we will certainly have no hesitation in booking you again in the future." History Through Drama day, Kirkland and Caterall St Helen's Primary
Ruby Slippers’ Tour of British History! - Whole School History Day
A unique way to explore both history and British Values - in just one day! There are two things you should know about Ruby Slippers. First, she has a passion for learning as much as she can about and from history. And second, with just a click of her own slippers (and a little bit of imagination), Ruby can visit any time from the past that she wants! And she can help both one, two and three-form entry schools explore both British history and British Values in the course of a single day!
Your day will start with a whole-school interactive presentation in which Ruby introduces herself and her powers - then allows the pupils to select which periods of British history she visits. As each epoch is unveiled, she’ll invite some of the pupils to join her in playing characters from the Stone Age to the Roman occupation of Britain, from the tussles between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings (and, eventually, the Normans, too!) to Tudor Times - and from the Great Fire of London to the Victorians and the two World Wars. She will then work with each class in turn to bring aspects of history alive though drama-based activities - with teachers choosing from the Stone/Bronze/Iron Ages, the Egyptians, the Ancient Greeks, the Romans in Britain, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings, the Normans, the Mayans, the Tudors, Mr William Shakespeare, the Great Fire of London, the Gunpowder Plot, the Victorians, World War I and World War II.
Don’t feel left out - because you get choices, too! You can elect to have three of the interactive presentations, each for a third of the school community - or two (each for half of the community), plus two Question and Answer sessions (each for one class). And you can also, of course, choose to book two days of Ruby’s time - offering the whole school the whole experience!
Ruby doesn’t want to leave larger schools feeling overlooked - so you have the option of going for three of her presentations, each for a third of the school community.
“Thank you so much to Helen and the team the pupils had a brilliant day yesterday. The performance and workshops were engaging getting the pupils to think about what they had seen and learnt.” Fairmead Special School
New - Time Travel Tourist - the Apollo Adventurers
Celebrating 50 years since the first humans walked on the moon
It was in July 1969 that Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar landscape and uttered the famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Since then, only another eleven astronauts have walked on the moon - and none since 1972. This unique programme, though, gives your pupils an opportunity to meet and work with one of the people behind Apollo 11 - Margaret Hamilton (who led the team designing the mission's software) or Astronaut Armstrong himself. Your Tourist will be more than happy to meet the school at an assembly - then visit a number of classes during the day in workshops using drama techniques to bring to life the Apollo 11 adventure, and her/his role in its success.
We have lots of other Time Travel Tourists available, too, including; Mrs Pankhurst, General Haig, Siegfried Sassoon and Kitty Wilkinson. So if there's someone that your pupils wloild like to meet - just ask!
Suitable For: up to 30 pupils at a time, EYFS - KS4 (and beyond!)
Exploring (according to age): preparations for the mission; history, characteristics and composition of the moon; the Apollo 11 astronauts; the role of the moon in future space exploration.
Duration: 1 hour + (depending on how many classes)
“Our pupils absolutely loved having “Neil Armstrong” in school for the day, the workshops were really engaging and further embedded the pupils’ knowledge about the moon and the moon landing. It was a brilliant day that the children thoroughly enjoyed." Canons Primary School
Florence Nightingale - Legacies of the Lady with the Lamp
May 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who gained the nickname “The Lady with the Lamp” whilst caring for soldiers injured in the Crimean War. And our Time Travel Tourist programmes give you the opportunity to mark the occasion by inviting her into your school, running workshops allowing children to explore her life, her work - and how the different approaches to nursing developed by both her and the Jamaican-born Mary Seacole changed the medical world forever. And as Florence is just one of the Tourists we can provide, you might also be interested in hosting the military strategist General Haig, the suffragette Emeline Pankhurst or the astronaut Neil Armstrong!
“The interactive performance was brilliant and the children thoroughly enjoyed it. The actors were lovely and worked really hard during the day - Thank you!” Headteacher, Weston Primary School, Runcorn
“The children have learnt more from than this than from a thousand worksheets!" Assistant Headteacher, Holy Family Primary School
Homing in on the Home Front - WWI
September 3rd 2019 marks eighty years since the outbreak of World War II, a conflict that affected every man, woman and child in the UK, as well as those serving in the forces. Marking the anniversary, our uniquely interactive 75 minute Time Travel Theatre performance, Homing in on the Home Front, offers pupils opportunities to explore ways that the War touched on every aspect of life – from the food people ate to the clothes that they wore to the precautions they took against invasion.
The programme exists in a range of flexible formats, allowing up to 420 pupils to experience it in a single day! Classes in one-form entry schools will have opportunities to take part in follow-up workshops – while selected pupils in larger schools will have chances to engage in Question and Answer sessions with the actors.
Although they live in the countryside, Ed and Flo Duckworth are still in danger from the enemy planes that fly overhead. So they combine running their farm with “doing their bit” – Flo as an Air Raid Warden and Ed as a private in the local Home Guard. Join them and their friends Vera the Land Girl and Cyril the Spiv as they begin to get used to the huge changes in their lives – including the impending arrival of a couple of evacuees!
There’ll be laughs and tears, singing and dancing as your pupils join these larger than life characters to Make Do and Mend, Save Kitchen Scraps – and Dig for Victory. Not forgetting that Walls Have Ears, of course!
The programme is particularly suited to Keys Stages 2 and 3 – but Years 1 and 2 will get a lot out of it, too. And we always welcome Reception classes for the first half hour or so!
Outcomes: greater knowledge of the causes and course of World War II; increased understanding of the concept of “total war”; heightened awareness of the roles played by class and gender during the period.
"All of the children thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and have been able to use this as a hook for their ‘Local Heroes’ History topic. We have been able to generate lots of discussion and high quality written work from the visit. They particularly enjoyed how engaging and practical the session was. It was a very enjoyable experience for not only the children, but the staff have found it very useful as it has helped with their planning." (Banks Road Primary School)
These uniquely cross-curricular programmes see children using a range of age-differentiated mathematical skills to solve problems from the past – whilst at the same time learning a wealth of new historical content. Lasting 90 minutes upwards, they can all accommodate up to 30 pupils at a time. You can choose from …
The Viking’s Quest –a mixture of myth and maths from the North!
CSI: Ancient Greece – who lifted Zeus’s Lightning Bolt?
CSI: Saxons – was it really Alfred the Great who burnt the cakes?
And, new for 2019, you can now also choose The Riddle of the Sphinx, a whole-school programme combining maths and Egyptology!
“As part of our Maths week, all KS2 children in the School had the CSI:Maths workshop. The children were buzzing about it all week and realised that Maths can be fun! I would highly recommend it and would not hesitate to use you again in the future." (Maths Teacher, St Benedict’s Primary)
Exploring the World of Explorers KS1
From Leif Erikson to Neil Armstrong, and led by our modern day explorer, Major Tom, this workshop introduces KS1 pupils to some landmark people and moments in the history of global exploration. They’ll consider what it takes to be a great explorer (including remembering the need to respect other cultures), engage in drama activities unveiling some set-piece expeditions and complete beautifully illustrated Timelines to record and celebrate their learning.
"The sessions were really hands-on and interactive and the children were always switched on. I feel they have learned a lot from the sessions and it will show in their upcoming history work. I know from discussions with the staff and pupils that it was an entirely enjoyable experience and you will be our first port of call for any future history topics. Thank you very much." (Rob Nixon, History Subject Leader, The Berkeley Primary School)
1066 and all that: A History of Britain
Extending children’s learning beyond the national curriculum, while also exploring British values, this KS2 workshop sees pupils working in teams of Historical Ambassadors to teach each other about some of the important moments, both famous and infamous, of British History since the Battle of Hastings. Armed with enticingly designed Fact files, teams will explore moments from the Black Death to the Second World War, selecting key facts and preparing and presenting short dramas to bring them to life. During the workshop, pupils will annotate our beautifully illustrated Timelines - which can either be taken home or used for displays.
Duration: Workshops last for 1-hour to half a day and preferably using the hall space.
"It was good to get the children problem solving and doing both mental and written calculations. They also gained lots of knowledge about the Vikings and lots of them have remembered the facts Jackson shared with them. It was great to see the children being creative. They usually associate maths with being boring and sitting down but getting them to make statues was amazing for them!" Holy Trinity Primary School