A Learning Experience

All Hallows by the Tower is home to a twice-yearly series of interactive Arts in Education projects, run in partnership with Clio's Company. All Hallows has been part of the City of London landscape for thirteen hundred years, and people have lived and worked here for far longer. The team use a combination of known historical facts and imagined but possible events, to stage a series of site-specific plays and workshops for primary school children to bring to life the rich and complex history of the church in its context. The project looks at life in London during Roman and Saxon times, with each production focusing on a separate historical period in support of the National Curriculum in history and literacy. Children take on identities from the period to help them examine some of the characters and dilemmas of the time.

'Ultima Britannia: Life on a Roman Frontier' 
Set in first century Londinium, now newly rebuilt after its destruction by Boudicca. Raw, dangerous, notorious among Roman colonial officials as a ‘hardship posting’, this frontier town is also a place where fortunes can be made and lost. The north aisle of the church is transformed into the villa that occupied the site two thousand years ago, and the children become Romano-British Londoners, some of them newly arrived, and take an active part in the drama. They are also able to walk at Roman street level through the crypt and handle artefacts of the period.

'Lundenwic: Saxon London's Dark Lands'
Set in the time of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, when Roman London was still occupied by the "Boc Laeden" who are trying to preserve the old way of life, while the present-day Covent Garden is occupied by newcomers from across the North Sea. Children become Saxon Londoners - some from each side of the English/British divide - and encounter some of the characters around the historic church of All Hallows, founded at the time of the action of the play. A practical workshop enables them to discover something of the poetry and music of the time, as they compose their own poem in the style of "Beowulf" and learn to write in runes.

To find our more about the programmes available, please contact the church office or go to the Clio's Company website.

To see pictures of previous programmes go to the Education Project - Romans photo gallery or the Education Project - Saxons photo gallery.

Teachers’ comments:

"Really enjoyable and informative. The children were filled with enthusiasm, wonder and enjoyment.” 

“Brilliant! The realism and enthusiasm engaged the children and encouraged thinking skills. They had a fantastic day.”

"Excellent drama and performances that fully engaged the children.”

“Thank you for providing such a living addition to the children’s learning. They became completely entranced by the reality of the drama.”

The Arts in Education project is dependent on grant funding to enable the programme to take place, and we would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following organisations: the Aldgate and All Hallows Barking Exhibition Foundation; the Chapman Charitable Trust; the Corporation of London; the Charles French Charitable Trust; the Derek Shuttleworth Trust; the Garfield Weston Foundation; and the Worshipful Companies of Armourers and Braziers and World Traders.

We are very grateful to all our funders and project partners for their help.