Learning at The Commandery

School Activities from Across the Centuries

“Great experience for the children. Educational, exciting and brilliant value for money.” KS2 teacher

The Commandery is the perfect place to bring local and national history to life. It is the very place where, in 1651, the decisive battle at the end of the civil war took place, ending the rule of the monarchy in England.

The Commandery offers a whole host of hands-on activities and workshops for all ages and abilities. Young learners can discover what life was like during Tudor times and explore the arms & armour used during the English Civil Wars. Groups can enjoy a hosted walk around the city and, using historic maps of Worcester, discuss the events of the battle and its impact upon local and national history.

Tailored to your needs:

We are happy to tailor all visits and activities to your learners, including S.E.N. learners and home educated groups. Simply mention your additional requirements when you enquire or book with us.

We offer the following topics for schools:

Scroll through our learning topics below. Please bear in mind that these sessions are guidelines but can be adapted to suit your pupils’ ages and SEND requirements or to suit your educational programme.

Find out about toys and games that were played at The Commandery a long time ago. Discover how some toys and games have changed over time and how many that we play today date back to that time.

The games played date from over 500 years ago during the medieval and Tudor periods of history and include quoits, cards and skittles – plus a selection of others.

You can also spend time in our “Games Room” and try your luck at “Fox and Geese”, “Nine men’s Morris” and other popular board games of the time.

Key Stages 1 and 2.

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Building Detectives is an investigative activity providing children with the opportunity to learn how to look for clues on the construction of a timber-framed building. They learn how to explore the hidden secrets of the buildings such as; carpenter’s marks, wattle & daube and wooden pegs.

Led by museum staff pupils employ observational drawing within our Medieval Painted chamber, where we can highlight one of the effects of the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII.

Key Stages 1 and 2, 45 minutes.

£1.50 per pupil.

Download Building Detectives information for teachers

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Key Stage 2 & 3

Arms and Armour

This is a participatory session that covers the role of the common soldier which includes descriptions of the pikeman, a musketeer and a cavalry officer, with a chance to get into these characters and handle replica weaponry and armour. Discussions are centred around how useful and effective they were during the Civil War. Students will also discover how the armies communicated on the battlefield using drums and flags.
Key Questions:
– What was it like on a Civil War battlefield?
– What were the differences between the common soldier and an officer?
Curriculum Links:
History – a local history study. Significant national and local historical events, a theme in British history that covers the student’s chronological understanding beyond 1066.
Science – States of matter, some materials change state when they are heated. Describing motion, speed and the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time.

Key Stages 2 and 3, 45 minutes.

£1.50 per pupil per session

Download Arms and Armour information for teachers

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What was life like following the soldiers around from battlefield to battlefield? Find out with Life in the Baggage Train; an interactive session that charts the people, equipment and organisation of a support network for the army. Includes the role of women, priests and the surgeon.
Key Questions:
– What sort of food did they eat?
– What is propaganda?
Curriculum Links:
History – a local history study. Significant national and local historical events, a theme in British history that covers the student’s chronological understanding beyond 1066. The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745.
English – participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates. Asking questions to improve their understanding of a text. Summarising the main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas. Identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning. Distinguish between statements of fact and opinion. Knowing the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension. Making critical comparisons across texts.

Key Stages 2 and 3.

£1.50 per pupil per session

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A hands-on activity that discusses aspects of daily life under the Tudor monarchs, and how an individual’s status could affect even the most basic needs, and schooling.

Our sessions are full of handling opportunities and hands-on activities. In Candles and Quills pupils can make a beeswax candle and try writing with quill and ink whilst learning about Tudor schools and other aspects of daily life.

Key Stages 2 and 3, 45 minutes.

£1.50 per pupil per session

Download Candles and Quills Activity Information for Teachers

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Using a combination of maps of Worcester and a walk up to Fort Royal Park, learn about the significant events in this city and nation’s history of the Battle of Worcester, 1651, as key areas and events of the day are pointed out and discussed.
Key questions:
– What happened in the aftermath?
– Why did the battle have to happen?
– What might have happened if the Royalists had won?
Curriculum Links:
History – a local history study. Significant national and local historical events, a theme in British history that covers the student’s chronological understanding beyond 1066. The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745.

Key Stages 2 and 3, 45 minutes.

£1.50 per pupil per session

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Become a Pikeman serving in the Kings Army and discover how a cannon was loaded and fired with Pike and Cannon Drills. Comprised of two interactive activities, students will learn the commands of both pike and cannon loading by immersing themselves into the roles of the pikeman and cannon crew using replica handling equipment.
Key Questions:
– How was the pike used as a weapon?
– How effective was the cannon?
Curriculum Links:
History – a local history study. Significant national and local historical events, a theme in British history that covers the student’s chronological understanding beyond 1066.
SMSC – Teamwork
Science – States of matter, some materials change state when they are heated. Describing motion, speed and the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time.
Maths – Geometry – position and direction, use mathematical vocabulary to describe position, direction and movement, including movement in a straight line. Describe movements between positions as translations of a given unit to the left/right and up/down.

Key Stages 2 and 3.

£1.50 per pupil per session

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A practical demonstration during which pupils will learn how people’s social status was reflected in their clothing; how the Sumptuary Laws dictated the attire of every person in the country from the King to the lowest
servant; the daily care of clothing; the kinds of duties that servants performed; how rich children were socially educated; and the changing courtly fashions that reflected the monarch on the throne and political alliances.

Our sessions are full of handling opportunities and hands-on activities and in this activity selected pupils will be given the opportunity to dress in reproduction Tudor clothing.

Key Stages 2 and 3.

£1.50 per pupil per session

Download Clothes and Costume information for teachers

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Useful information for teachers and educators

Preparing for a visit to The Commandery: Your visit to the Commandery may include time spent outside; the site is a medieval building and can be cold. Please ensure children are dressed appropriately and wearing sensible shoes.

A mini bus parking bay is available in The Commandery grounds, by prior request. Alternatively a coach drop off point is available (please contact us on 01905 361821 for further details).

During your visit – our facilities:

  • Toilets are provided within the building and are shared with other visitors to the museum. Please ensure your children are supervised when visiting these facilities.
  • The Commandery gardens are available for picnics and break time.
  • The Commandery is wheelchair accessible and an adapted toilet is available.
  • We are delighted to welcome school groups to The Commandery gift shop. A range of souvenirs and topic related gifts are available.

Booking your session

Contact The Commandery to check availability on your preferred date, we can provide an outline of admission and activity costs, as well as details of the workshops on offer. Free preliminary visits for teachers are available and highly recommended.

You can find out more about the museum, general facilities, accessibility and directions on The Commandery page.

Prices

  • School Visit incl. Performance: £6.00
  • School Visit incl. Children’s Activity Workshop: £4.50

For more information, to discuss or make a booking at The Commandery, please click here to submit an enquiry form. A member of the team will be with you shortly.

If your query is urgent, you can contact us on 01905 361821.