School Travel Organiser takes a look at what pupils can expect to learn when visiting Arundel Castle, which celebrates its 950th anniversary this year.

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle in Sussex offers schools a wide choice of workshops and activities to engage in, and many link to the History and Geography curriculum.

With the castle celebrating its 950th anniversary this year, there are plenty of opportunities for school groups to learn about its past, as well as the importance of its geographical location. 

The castle was built at the end of the 11th century by the Earl of Arundel, Roger de Montgomery. The oldest part that can be seen today is the motte, which was constructed in 1068 and is over 100 feet high from the moat. 

On a visit, schools can explore 950 years’ worth of history, at a location that has seen many different reigns, had involvement in political quarrels, and been through its fair share of wars.

History workshops 

The castle provides workshops and lesson ideas for pupils in Key Stages 1 through to 4.

For pupils in Key Stage 1, an Exploring Arundel Castle workshop allows children to get to grips with the key elements of the castle, such as reasons behind its construction along with defence and daily castle life.

Key Stage 2 groups can take part in a workshop on the Tudors that focuses on important people during the period who lived or were connected to the castle, along with Tudor portraits and weapons. 

Another workshops for Key Stage 2 groups is Castle and Settlements, which is a more developed version of the aforementioned Key Stage 1 workshop. It focuses on the construction of the castle but looks at it in more depth; this includes a look into the Norman and Saxon periods.

Key Stage 3 pupils can learn about the castles connections with Elizabeth I and other important Elizabethan people including Admiral Lord Howard and Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk, who had links to Mary Queen of Scots. 

Students can also take part in an English Civil War workshop that looks at the siege which took place at Arundel Castle during the Civil War and how the castle and its residents were affected.

Pictured: Jousting re-enactment at Arundel Castle.

Studying other subjects 

Links to History might be prevalent at Arundel Castle, but other subjects can be catered to as well. 

Teachers can opt for a workshop that focuses on the castle from a geographic perspective, taking in its development from the 11th century to the present day, and its impact on the local and surrounding area, as well as its trade links.

Key Stage 2 and 3 Art students can learn about different painting styles during an Art and Arundel Castle workshop that encourages participants to compare portraits and styles of art throughout the centuries.

And for GCSE Travel & Tourism students, a workshop can be arranged which introduces pupils to the various key aspects of the castle as a tourist attraction. This session is designed to give pupils a better understanding of the way tourism and travel works.

More for schools at Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle has a jam packed calendar of events which are also suitable for schools. For example a Pirates and Smugglers event taking place this September involves storytelling, craft demonstrations and combat displays, and a visit can be tied to subjects like History and Drama. 

Guided tours are also available for school visits and can be pre-arranged, and there is an education room where classes can handle artefacts and try on costumes, as well as take part in numerous educational activities.

Familiarisation trips for teachers can be arranged, too.

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