Dunhurst students build replica Mary Rose in Tudor project

Children at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst recently experienced the challenges of life as Tudor sailors with the culmination of a year’s programme of activities and liaison with the Mary Rose Trust.

Each year, Dunhurst has a themed day in which the whole school (Years 4 to 8) participate. This year, the focus was the Mary Rose to celebrate the 500th anniversary since the construction was completed under Henry VIII. Mary Rose links have permeated the school’s Science, History and Art curricula and wider school life throughout the year. Dunhurst pupils have visited the museum to see the new building and study artefacts, and they have enjoyed visits from Trust staff to talk about the work of the Mary Rose Trust.

The Mary Rose Day gave students the opportunity to experience aspects of maritime life and to think about the preparations for a sea voyage in Tudor times. Activities included sailor training, cannon firing, challenging strategy games, making ship’s biscuits, composing battle songs, and making goblets and tankards.

The highlight of the day was an ambitious challenge to build a 40 foot replica of the Mary Rose in the school’s Outdoor Work area, complete with mast and flags, which once finished, the children boarded to sing sea shanties at the end of the day.

Jane Grubb, Head of Dunhurst said: “Our Mary Rose Day brought academic studies to life in such an engaging way for pupils. It is amazing what can be achieved when you focus the whole school on a challenging cross-curricular project. Pupils combined great fun with learning across a range of subjects.”

Dunhurst students build replica Mary Rose in Tudor project


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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