Skip to content ↓

Tudor Seafaring - a Year 5 collaboration day

Published on 05/02/19

Year 5 pupils from the Stephen Perse Junior School and Dame Bradbury's enjoyed a Tudor collaboration day all about seafaring.

On Wednesday 16 January, Year 5 pupils from the Stephen Perse Junior School set off early for the Senior School where they welcomed their friends from Dame Bradbury’s to our Tudor Seafaring collaboration day.

Pupils were grouped in teams of six and imagined that they were aboard a Tudor ship, bound for the open seas and a voyage of exploration. Teams chose a name for their ship and created a flag to identify themselves in case of enemy fire. Each pupil was given a role to play. There were powder monkeys, navigators, ship’s boys, lookouts and able seamen.

The first task was to find out more about life on board a Tudor ship. Pupils had information to read which told a little about what they would experience as a Tudor sailor. There were some pretty gruesome punishments, including being lashed to a dead corpse and being keel-hauled. None of the pupils felt that these punishments were suitable to be used in school, so this plan was quickly shelved. Armed with their new knowledge, they reconvened in groups to share their findings. They had to piece together the jigsaw of facts and answer questions about life at sea.

After outdoor play at the Junior School, where lots of energy was run off and a huge game of tag evolved on the games court, lunch was served at the Senior School. This enabled the Year 5s to get a feel for life as Senior students. Whilst the food was delicious, the most popular part of the lunch period was definitely the conveyor belt, which took the dirty crockery away. Several comments were overheard, all agreeing ‘I can’t wait to be at Senior School’.

After lunch, it was time to board our ships again. First of all we needed to know where we would be sailing to. In Tudor times, cartography was in its infancy and map makers used maps which had been previously drawn by explorers. To replicate this experience, pupils were allowed a brief glimpse of a Tudor world map, which they needed to reproduce. Working collaboratively, pupils agreed on the best strategy for creating an accurate map. Points for the most accurate maps were given by Mrs Mason, using her artistic knowledge to make judgements about clarity and precision.

The rest of the afternoon was spent choosing items which we needed for our voyage. Each ship group was given 50 coins to spend and bid in an auction for the most useful items, and then it was time to set sail. We listened to different scenarios, describing events which could take place during an exploration. Groups were awarded or lost points depending on how well-prepared they were.

Finally, the groups added up all the points they had earned throughout the day, to discover which ship was the most likely to run a successful Tudor voyage of exploration. The winning group was the Serpent of the Seas. However, all the staff members accompanying ‘Able Seamen and Women of Year 5’ on this collaboration day were very impressed with the good manners, co-operation and joyfulness of our crew. Ship ahoy!

Click here to see the photographs.

If you want to keep up to date with all the latest school news on your mobile, simply download the 'School News' app and search for the Stephen Perse Foundation.