Skip to main content

05 May 2023

Pupils get a history lesson in British Coronations ahead of King Charles III being crowned

Thousands of schoolchildren across the UK have been learning about the forthcoming Coronation of King Charles III thanks to a bank of new educational resources informed by expert researchers.

Coronation Pupils

To mark this significant new chapter in British history, researchers at King’s and the University of Roehampton have teamed up with Arts Projects for Schools to offer teachers and children a chance to celebrate, commemorate and explore the many traditions of British Coronations.

Available to download for free through the UK Government website, the team of experts have created a curriculum-based scheme of work for KS1 and KS2 pupils and teachers (P2-7 in Scotland and Northern Ireland), including classroom activities and lesson plans.

The educational resources are informed by the British Coronations Project c.973–present – an exhaustive study of the history of British Coronations, led by Dr David Crankshaw and Dr George Gross at King’s College London. Providing the most comprehensive analysis of British Coronations to date, their research uncovered historic accounts and archive material that have never been documented before.

Coronation Pupils
Pupils from West Ham Church of England Primary School used the resources to inform a reenactment of the Coronation ceremony.

More than 2,000 schools have registered to download the resources, as excitement for King Charles III’s Coronation builds.

At West Ham Church of England Primary School in London, the children have been learning about the history of the King’s crown and throne, while getting creative by making their own versions of these objects. The pupils also got involved with planning a reenactment of the events of the Coronation, which they performed in front of their family and friends at a local church.

One pupil said: "I made a portrait of King Charles, it was really hard to draw. I don't come from London so I've been learning about a different culture."

By incorporating The Coronation Projects resources into our curriculum, all the children at West Ham Primary schools have had their learning impacted both creatively and academically. They really enjoyed learning about this historic event through a creative and multisensory approach.

Miss Gilliland, Art & Design & Technology Lead at West Ham Church of England Primary School

As well as curriculum-based resources, schools are encouraged to contribute to King’s College London’s British Coronations Project by taking part in a quiz, and they can also create a commemorative Coronation mug or yearbook with support from Arts Projects for Schools.

We are delighted to have helped create the British Coronation Project 2023 for the Coronation of Charles III – a learning journey for children across the UK. In addition to the structured lessons, supported by a wealth of historical information, students will have the opportunity to take part in a quiz that will form the basis of our detailed research into what children think about such momentous events – the first such exercise in studying the impact of Coronations.

Dr George Gross, Visiting Research Fellow
Coronation Project Schools Logo

Through the British Coronations Project, Dr Crankshaw and Dr Gross document the story behind many of the traditional elements from these momentous royal ceremonies, from why the King or Queen is invested with a Coronation Ring, to how the monarch decides what food and wines will be served at their coronation banquet.

The project also reveals previously unstudied eye-witness accounts of the 1661 Coronation of Charles II; changes to the way in which state portraits of monarchs have been painted; and how a fake version of the Coronation Oath was almost used by King Henry VIII!

Bringing together historical expertise and artistic flare, this project provides a comprehensive and exciting learning experience for schoolchildren. It is fantastic to know that so many children from across the UK are engaging with this historic occasion and the historical material we have provided and we are excited to see their work and responses to the lessons and quiz resources.

Dr David Crankshaw, Lecturer in the History of Early Modern Christianity

With 30 years' experience as an art educator, Dr Robert Watts, Senior Lecturer in Art and Design Education at the University of Roehampton, supported the project by developing ideas for a creative scheme of work designed to inspire primary school children. 

Art and Design is a subject that is increasingly marginalised in many primary schools. The British Coronation Project offers schools a wonderful opportunity to place creativity at the heart of their teaching, while celebrating a significant event they will remember for many years to come. The fact that so many schools have welcomed the project is evidence that creativity has a future in children’s education.

Dr Robert Watts, Senior Lecturer in Art and Design Education at the University of Roehampton

Art Projects for Schools has been working with thousands of primary schools over the last 30 years. For a company such as ours to have the chance to work with King’s College London and the University of Roehampton, and to be part of the Government website’s resources for schools, has been a real thrill. To have over 200,000 children benefitting from the wonderful ideas of those institutions is testament to the quality of their knowledge and stimulating ideas. I am so looking forward to hearing from schools and seeing how they have put their own spin on this Coronation project.

Dan Dickey, CEO of Art Projects for Schools

To find out more or download the educational resources visit the Government’s Coronation webpage here.

In this story

David Crankshaw

Senior Lecturer in the History of Early Modern Christianity

George Gross

Visiting Research Fellow