Friday, February 23, 2024

Beacon Hill visit Tower of London as part of Royal Opera trailblazer project

STUDENTS from Beacon Hill Academy visited the Tower of London recently as part of Royal Opera House Thurrock’s Trailblazer Pathfinder project.

Beacon Hill Academy is one of many Thurrock Trailblazer schools taking part in the Time Explorers Challenge, a new teacher CPD project offered by the Learning & Engagement team at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for the Tower. Each year, this project empowers teachers and their students to explore a different story at one of the palaces and facilitates a broad range of cross-curricular learning across KS1-2. This year the project explores the early years of Anne Boleyn’s reign as Queen, following her marriage to King Henry VIII and elaborate coronation ceremony at Westminster. The project offers professional development for teachers, a range of resources to use in the classroom, and a visit to the Tower for students.

Beacon Hill Academy has created Tudor sensory stories in class and the visit was a great opportunity to increase their knowledge and experience the story in its original setting. Through looking at historical artefacts and listening to Tudor music as well as meeting some famous Tudor characters. The students were able to get a better understanding of Anne Boleyn and see where she arrived for her coronation and learn more about her history through costumed interpreters who brought her story to life.

The cross curricula aspect of the project means many different types of schools can take part as they can take as much or as little of the story as they wish and they can adapt the story for their own needs, in Beacon Hill’s case they are creating a sensory story for their pupils.

Beacon Hill teacher Jacqueline Drew said “We had an amazing time. It was a wonderful experience for all our students, a very well thought out session covering a variety of aspects that we had covered during the term.”

Elsa Brittain, Junior Learning Producer at the Historic Royal Palaces said, “Time Explorers Challenge is a great way of supporting teachers to deliver stories in their own classrooms. Working with schools in Thurrock has been a great way of widening our audience and has helped to connect them with the Tower and its stories.”

Thurrock Trailblazer

Thurrock Borough Council is transforming education in Thurrock and Royal Opera House Thurrock is delighted to be delivering the Cultural Entitlement Pathfinder Initiative, Thurrock Trailblazer. The programme uses involvement in the arts to inspire and engage young people, raise aspiration and improve educational attainment.

The Learning and Participation Team is building on its strong partnerships across Thurrock and the wider cultural sector locally, regionally and nationally creating an exciting programme of activities for pupils and teachers in the 21 Trailblazer Schools across Thurrock. It has developed targeted offers for schools to take part in activities in Covent Garden and Thurrock and form new relationships between schools and other cultural providers.

For more information about Thurrock Trailblazer, please go to


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