Visit the King Richard III Visitor Centre with Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils

Date Posted: 08/06/2015

The King Richard III Visitor Centre gives pupils the chance to learn the story of the King’s life and death, as well as the astonishing unearthing of his remains in a car park over 500 years after his death.

Following the discovery of King Richard III’s remains just over two years ago, the King Richard III Visitor Centre has opened in Leicester to give school students the opportunity to find out more about his life, death and the discovery itself.

The Centre offers National Curriculum linked learning programmes for Key Stages 2 and 3. Each includes a visit to the Dynasty, Death and Discovery exhibition, and the option of adding a visit to Leicester Cathedral, a walking trail, an archaeology workshop or The Trial of Richard III workshop.

Also, from summer 2015, students will be able to take part in a new DNA workshop, where they will learn about DNA, the role it played in discovering King Richard III and conduct an experiment to extract the DNA from a banana using their new knowledge.

Dynasty, Death and Discovery exhibition

Separated into three sections, the exhibition tells the story of King Richard III’s life, death and discovery. The first section, Dynasty, tells pupils of his rise to power, the events which led to him becoming King in 1483 and the reforms he made during his short reign. Pupils will also learn what everyday life was like in Medieval Britain and how it differs from the present day.

Death, gives students the chance to learn about the Battle of Bosworth and how betrayal led to King Richard III’s death in 1485.

Finally, in the Discovery section, the story of the research, archaeology, science and analysis that led to the discovery and identification of the last Plantagenet King of England underneath a car park in Leicester is revealed. As part of this, pupils will have the chance to look down into the grave where Richard’s remains were buried for over 500 years.

Discovery Packs for Key Stages 2 and 3 are available to be downloaded and used alongside the Dynasty, Death and Discovery exhibition.

Curriculum links to the Dynasty, Death and Discovery exhibition

History:                    Local History Study (KS2 and KS3)
                                  Development of church, state and society in Medieval Britain (KS3)

English/Drama:     Shakespeare (KS3)

Science:                  Genetics & Evolution: Inheritance, chromosomes, DNA and genes (KS3)
                                  Working scientifically (KS2)

Leicester Cathedral visit

This is a self-led visit to Leicester Cathedral, the place where King Richard III was reinterred in March 2015. This visit covers part of the Religious Education National Curriculum for Key Stage 2 and 3 and gives students the opportunity to learn about the key features of a Christian place of worship and how the building is used.

Bookings for this visit should be made with the Cathedral directly, but can be combined with the Dynasty, Death and Discovery exhibition for a whole day visit.

Walking trail

Students can tour around key sites in the city centre that are connected to King Richard III and Medieval Leicester on this self-led walking trail.

Pupils will visit Bow Bridge, built in 1863 as a memorial to the King, and which replaced the original Bow Bridge he crossed when leaving Leicester to do battle at Bosworth. There is also an opportunity to see Leicester Castle, the Guildhall and Trinity Hospital.   

Heritage panels at some of the locations will give students a greater insight into the history, helping them to identify how the city has changed since the Medieval period. Teachers can also download a Walking Trail guide.

Archaeology workshop

Combining this 60 to90 minute archaeology workshop with the Dynasty, Death and Discovery exhibition has curriculum links to History, English, Maths, Science, Geography and Drama for Key Stages 2 and 3.

The workshop will give pupils the chance to learn about the research, excavation and verification of King Richard III’s remains, which involved using different scientific and archaeological methods. Applying archaeological techniques they will then get the opportunity to be archaeologists themselves and discover and record information.

Covering the Key Stage 3 Science National Curriculum topic Genetics and Evolutions, chromosomes DNA and genes, students aged nine to 11 years old will also use family trees to learn about heredity and how mitochondrial DNA is passed along.

The trial of Richard III workshop

This workshop at Leicester Castle sees King Richard III on trial in the courtroom with students evaluating evidence from the Medieval period as well as other secondary sources to consider whether he was a fair king or an evil tyrant. Focusing on the History and English National Curriculum, pupils will have to distinguish between fact and opinion and justify their views with reason. Key Stage 3 students will extend this into a formal debate.

Developed by Leicester City Council and the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, the workshop lasts approximately two hours.

For more information contact or visit

School Travel Organiser's Guide