This is a really fascinating 30 year period of English history. A time of civil unrest, when the infighting between the two sides of its royal family resulted in battle after battle, and death after death, all in pursuit of the crown.
In Year 5 we have been studying the Plantagenets family tree, from Edward III through to the Tudors, figuring out who was related to who, who was married to who, and who had a right to the throne and why?
The class learnt about the feud for the crown between the Henry VI, the House of Lancaster, and Richard of York, the House of York. They learnt about how Richard of York had been killed to stave off any threat to the throne, and how his son came forward to keep that threat very much alive. Edward of York challenged Henry VI to battle.
The Yorks, now headed by Edward of York, had a smaller army but a younger, stronger, fitter leader. The Lancastrians had the current King, a man with years of experience, and a large army. He was however quite weak of mind and had never himself fought in battle.
The class were set the task of convincing the soldiers on the opposing side to switch allegiance. With this brief in mind the two teams set about researching their strengths and the opposing team’s weaknesses.
The teams were prepped and ready to persuade the other side. Both teams did a fabulous job highlighting the reasons to join their army and they got very passionate giving their opinions for leaving the opposing side.
From here the pupils were asked to transfer their arguments on to paper, writing a persuasive letter to a friend on the opposing side, trying to convince them to switch sides. The class did a really good job!
After this, we learned about what happened on the battlefield at Towton, how Edward IV won and what followed; more battles, more death and more tricky relationships.