Tudor teaching wins award for stately home

A hat-trick has kept Knebworth House top of the class.

It has won the prestigious Sandford Award - which recognises the provision of quality education in and about historic sites - for a third time.

The education programme at Knebworth has been developed by the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust and the property has now held a Sandford Award since 2001.

The awards are based on reports by judges, with Knebworth’s performance rated “very impressive” for the hands-on nature of the programmes it offers.

Knebworth education officer Natalie Wallace explained: “We aim to give all our educational visitors the chance to get involved with activities and have fun while they’re learning.”

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The judge paid particular attention to Knebworth’s popular Tudor Treasure Trail activity days and praised the “well-informed and highly-motivated costumed guides [who] make excellent use of the house, its contents and a range of handling objects to enable students to participate in activities that are both enjoyable and informative.”

The Tudor activity days now account for almost two-thirds of school visits to the house with more than 5,000 children attending them each year. But they are only one part of a diverse learning programme provided by Knebworth.

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Ms Wallace said: “We have something for all ages, from early years through to post-16, to enjoy. Because we make use of the historic house as well as the formal gardens and extensive parkland in our educational activities, we are able to offer learning across the curriculum and offer activities that include history, science and English among others.”

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