St Andrew's C of E (VA) Primary

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Hatfield House

This week Year 5 visited Hatfield House as part of our local history project on Queen Elizabeth I.

The children were given a short guided tour of the grounds including the Knot Garden where the children learnt that the nursery rhyme 'Here we go gathering nuts in May' came from gathering knots of flowers as nuts do not grow in May. The word got changed along the passage of time.

After the guided tour, the children spent the rest of the morning meeting historians in costume. First up was Thomas Morley a favourite composer of Elizabeth I who taught the children a song to be performed for the Queen's pleasure and taught the children about code breaking under Elizabeth's spy network.

Next was the grand reveal of Elizabeth I herself. 

The Queen stayed in character for the duration of the audience; even showing the fiery temper she was renowned for.

The last character the children met was Sir Francis Drake and learnt about the attempted invasion from the Spanish Armada.

After lunch out on the lawns of the house in the sunshine, we headed for the Elizabeth oak. It is said to be the tree under which Elizabeth I was reading the Gospels when she found out she was Queen. The original tree is no longer standing but Elizabeth II planted a new one in its place.

The children had a brilliant day with a living history of Elizabeth I. Also a big thank you to all the parents who offered their time to make the trip a success.