LIVE in your Classroom!

A LIVE Elizabethan Experience!

Putting on a Pageant 1578 (POP 1578) is an online primary school heritage education programme. Through the lens of local history, POP 1578 explores the exciting story of Queen Elizabeth I’s journey across East Anglia culminating in magnificent festivities in Norwich in 1578.

We also offer a LIVE in-school experience! Using a methodology called ‘Structured Stories through Immersive Adventures’** we approach the telling of Queen Elizabeth I’s unique visit to Norwich through storytelling, story maps, drama games, animation, and craft activities led by our POP 1578 education team.

Our Archivist, Elizabethan protagonist, Thomas Churchyard, and resident artist will visit your school to recount the amazing story of the Queen’s visit. They will set challenges, lead drama games, guide pupils and parents in animation and art techniques, then direct pupil-led performances, before Queen Elizabeth I graces your school with her presence, giving your class the chance to showcase their learning, artistic and performance talents to specially invited guests.

Class Sessions with one of our POP 1578 team (inc Thomas Churchyard!) cost from £150 for a half-day and £300 for a full day.

Please contact Sarah Power on 07506 717 773 or email us to book or enquire further.

In School Sessions

Session 1

Journey of the Documents

Meet our ‘Trainee Archivist’, Annie, who will arrive in class to set a challenge: ‘Can you all become ‘Document Detectives’ to help sort out a jumbled box of old documents, images and maps?’ This is a full-day visit and great to enjoy together as a local history-inspired ‘off curriculum’ day. All resources are included in this session for up to 35 pupils. After this session, we highly recommend the opportunity to visit the Norfolk Record Office who has designed a POP 1578 half-day visit package OR use our FREE POP 1578 NRO digital visit Google Slide Show.

Session 2

Preparing for a Pageant

A ‘real’ Elizabethan called Thomas Churchyard will dramatically enter your classroom to introduce how the 16th-century citizens of Norwich prepared for the Queen’s visit. Thomas will stay with your class to tell his tale and guide the activities. In this session we chart Queen Elizabeth I’s journey using ‘original’ 16th century maps, learn about ‘Jobs Now and Then’ by playing Drama Games and introduce to pupils to the Story Map technique and ways to practice it. This session can be a half or full day, with either the teacher or Thomas leading the practice.

Session 3

Putting on a Pageant

Thomas Churchyard tells the story of ‘A Pageant at St Stephen’s Gate’. This pageant was performed by the city’s talented textile workers to Queen Elizabeth I as she entered Norwich in 1578. You will explore what a pageant is and who the textile workers were, AKA the ‘Strangers’. We will also also find out about the current Lord Mayor’s Procession, The Whifflers and ‘SNAP’ our very own dragon. Using Story Maps, drama games called ‘Greetings your Majesty’ and ‘Imaginarium’ and creating lots of mini SNAPS this session is high on fun and deep in learning.

Session 4

Titania and Oberon

In this session Thomas Churchyard revels in the role of Storyteller and Director! He will introduce your class to Elizabethan theatre, plays and playwrights focusing on the fabulously famous William Shakespeare and his magical story Midsummer Night’s Dream. You will enter the land of Shakespearean fairies and discover how different they were to the fairies we love today. Then it’s performance time! Enjoy Titania and Oberon Whoosh, directed of course by Master Churchyard! Finally, pupils can create their own mischievous fairy before recounting the tale of and Titania and Oberon using our Story Map.

Session 5

Titania and Oberon Oceania

Enjoy innovating and and twisting the tale of Titania and Oberon as we take the story from a woodland to an ocean setting as our characters become enchanted sea creatures rather than magical woodland beings. But Story Map is incomplete, and the pupils are challenged to finish it, maybe even to change the ending. Thomas Churchyard will once again be on hand to explain the challenges he faced in 1578 when rain stopped his final performance for the Queen. We also keep our bodies we play drama games called ‘Whose Missing’ and an underwater Imaginarium.

Session 6


After imitating and innovating the Putting on a Pageant 1578 story, your pupils will now be tasked to invent their own Elizabethan tale, set during the Queen’s visit to Norwich. Will might be an observer of a pageant, a performer, part of the Queen’s entourage or even the Queen herself! Maybe they will be inspired by Midsummer Night’s Dream and imagine a city of fairies and the mischief they get up to in our parks. This is teacher led session but why not invite Thomas Churchyard in to inspire your pupil’s new Elizabethan tales.

Session 7

Celebration Time!

All the groundwork is done and it’s time to rehearse your stories and performances or curate an Elizabethan exhibition or both of course. But it is definitely time to celebrate! You could have a session with our Drama Practitioner to brush up on diction and stage presence or our artist to help design and detail your exhibition- the choice is yours. Make it extra special and invite Queen Elizabeth I into to school to show her all your pupil’s hard work and watch their performances. the whole school family would enjoy this so do invite them all!

Parent / Carer Sessions

Explore More 1

The Gift-Giving Masque

A fun packed engaging session where Parents/Carers are invited to join their children in school and learn about the exclusive entertainment put on for Elizabeth I at the Bishops Palace in Norwich. Thomas Churchyard will explain the rituals of Elizabethan gift giving, and the elaborate Masque performed on the last night of the Queen’s stay when God and Goddesses entered the candle lit hall. We get active with drama games ‘Giving Presents’ and ‘Hot Seating’, make gift boxes fit for a queen and introduce the the Gift Giving Masque Story Map and actions.

Explore More 2

Queen Elizabeth I meets Batman!

WHAT? Yes it’s true, in this session we innovate our story and her Majesty does indeed meet Batman- what will he do, how will she react and most importantly what present will he give to her? Even better we tell the story through animation. Our artist joins parent/carers, teachers and pupils to learn how to create short, animated films on smart phones using Lego or other types of miniature people and objects. We also learn how to animate with flip books, enjoy physical drama games and of course the wonderfully vibrant story map!

Explore More 3

Presenting a Portrait

Our final Parent/Carer session gets us all arty. Our artist joins you to reveal how important portraits were to the Elizabethans and how Queen Elizabeth I’s personality and reign was secretly depicted in her incredible portraiture. We play a silly drama game called Throw Your Face and form dynamic family portraits. Then we don our artist smocks to create a personal ‘hand’ portrait using clay and bits of bobs which we have collected to represent our personalities and hobbies. We might even have time to practice our two previous story maps!

Teacher Training