Open today: 10:00am - 5:30pm

Primary workshops

Our KS1 and KS2 workshops encourage pupils to explore the history and science of the Mary Rose, using investigation skills to develop subject knowledge.

Each workshop costs £75; this will rise to £82.50 in September 2024.

Each session is suitable for a maximum of 32 pupils. Most workshops run for approximately one hour, but you will be sent a personalised timetable before your visit.

image description

Decoding Diversity: Investigating the crew of the Mary Rose

Who were the crew of the Mary Rose? How can we use cutting edge science to help learn more about the past?

Our brand new workshop for Sept 2024 explores the diversity and difference that was present in the crew of the Mary Rose. Pupils will explore archaeological and scientific sources of evidence for the past, working just like the curators and staff of the museum. Utilising the isotope and DNA analysis that was undertaken as part of a Channel 4 documentary in 2019, activities in this workshop include object handling, costumes, and an introduction to DNA coding.

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • Developing and exploring historical and scientific enquiry skills.
  • Understanding changes in social history and connections over time.
  • Exploring ideas about the characteristic features of the crew and how these are classified.
  • Using multiple sources to interpret the past and how we represent this.
image description

Dive the Mary Rose: 500 years of Technology and Change

Our 4D cinema is one of the highlights of a visit to the Mary Rose Museum, telling the story of how we found and excavated the ship.

This accompanying workshop is the perfect way to learn about that incredible achievement and explore key scientific concepts in a practical and engaging way. Pupils will discover the technological and scientific advances that have been made since the Mary Rose sank, explore the methods used in past attempts to salvage the ship, and be challenged to use key engineering and design skills to make their own machines to ‘raise the Mary Rose’. What materials will they choose? Whose design will prove most successful?

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Describing materials using properties, and give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic.
  • Exploring the effects of levers, pulleys and simple machines on movement.
  • Discovering ideas of technological and scientific change over time in post-war British society.
image description

Henry’s Heroes: Life on Board

What was life like for the men on board Henry’s favourite ship in 1545? Who brought their finest dining set with them and why did we find so many nit combs?

This workshop introduces pupils to the diverse members of the Mary Rose crew, which give us a unique insight into the daily lives of ordinary Tudor sailors, as well as the creation of Henry’s Army-By-Sea (the modern Royal Navy). Pupils use replica artefacts and costumes to develop their historical enquiry skills and explore the differences between officers and crew.

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • Demonstrating historical enquiry including source comparison and analysis.
  • Understanding the characteristic cultural, economic and political features of the period.
  • An aspect of British study that extends beyond 1066, covering multiple themes including trade, life at sea, and differences between rich and poor.
  • Significance of the past including short- and long-term concepts.
image description

Tudor Gun Drill

Have you got what it takes to be part of a gun crew? Can you work as a team to defend England against the French?

This is a two-part challenge.

Part 1: Make your own strategic plan to conquer the English or defend Portsmouth from the French invasion.

Part 2: Learn to dismantle, load and fire one of our Tudor guns, working as a team under the Master Gunner!  You must listen to instructions and follow orders, but how easy is this on a dark, noisy warship?

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • Opportunities to participate in team challenges to demonstrate key listening and communication skills.
  • Introduce a range of specialised and unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • To provide a stimulus for imaginative and creative writing.
  • Explore characteristic features of Tudor warfare and local history.
image description

What sank the Mary Rose?

What do you think caused the sinking of the Mary Rose? Was the ship unstable or overloaded? Was it an accident or deliberate?

This fun STEM workshop is a theoretical and practical introduction to the science and history of the Mary Rose. Pupils have the opportunity to undertake their own experimental archaeology, testing the theories behind the sinking of the ship. Investigate a range of sources and get hands on to in a practical session to discover what it takes to sink a ship.

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  • Making systematic and careful observations utilising simple, practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  • Understanding and investigating cause and consequence.
  • Using historical enquiry skills to interpret the past.
image description

Materials of the Mary Rose

Can you choose the best material for making a ship? How environmentally friendly were the Tudors?

At the Mary Rose Museum, pupils are introduced to new scientific methods to unlock the secrets of the past. We explore specialist vocabulary before pupils undertake their own enquiries into the materials used on the ship. This includes a unique opportunity to use microscopes to closely examine real artefacts. Pupils are encouraged to think like a museum curator to explore comparisons between different time periods and use their judgement regarding the type of materials used.

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • Asking relevant questions and using different of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests and using systematic and careful observations.
  • Using scientific method to understand change and continuity.
  • Exploring the interpretation of the past and how and why contrasting views arise.
  • Using digital microscopes to compare sample materials and see them in high definition!
image description

Fighting fit

How fit and healthy were our Tudor ancestors? Could you survive on the rations of the Mary Rose crew?

This workshop explores the evidence for the diet and health of the crew onboard the ship. Students critically engage with different forms of historical and scientific evidence, exploring how we learn about the past. They investigate the food on board and compare it to modern ideas about health, nutrition and diet. This is supported by the findings from the human remains in our collection, examining the injuries and illnesses that are present within the crew. It challenges preconceived ideas about the fitness of those in the past and encourages the pupils to make their own judgements.

What skills does this workshop cover?

  • The lives of people, significant historical events, and places within their own locality.
  • Identifying characteristic features of the period.
  • Exploring and comparing aspects of life in different time periods.
  • Using scientific method and historical enquiry to ask and answer relevant questions and to support their findings.

More ways to learn

image description

Virtual sessions

If you are unable to visit the Museum in person, book a virtual session with one of our dedicated Learning Team!

Read More
image description

Loan boxes

We offer a loan box service containing a selection of real and replica items from our Learning collection that will help inspire pupils.

Read More