Activities and Events

A key aspect of Mayflower events is their ability to be inclusive, and allow participants the opportunity to learn about the people, their ship and the journey. Whilst some events will have a support pack of resources, others will enable our young people to become part of the event itself. Please note that the events listed are ones organisers plan will have an educational aspect to them.

Activities in Plymouth

Mayflower 400 Citizenship Project

Upon their arrival to America, the Mayflower’s passengers signed a ‘Compact’ outlining the rules by which their community would live by. For 2020, we are reaching out to all of the city’s schools to create a new ‘Plymouth Compact’, incorporating a series of nine statements selected democratically by young people which will be used by the City Youth Council and Plymouth Youth Parliament to underpin and guide their decision-making for the next five years.

The Compact will be launched in autumn 2020, with each school represented at an event at the Theatre Royal Plymouth alongside senior civic, community and business representatives.

Mayflower 400 Anthology

Inspiring collections of poetry, prose and stories from young people in Plymouth are being collated into the Mayflower 400 Anthology, with support from students and academics at the University of Plymouth. The first edition, called The Journey Begins, was launched in May 2018 at Plymouth Guildhall. The 100-page book contains excerpts from over 80 selected submissions, from 18 local schools and photography from the Barbican. Entries for the 2019 edition are now closed, and the selected works will be published in May 2019.

More information on the 2018 Anthology can be found at the University of Plymouth's website

Mayflower 400 Young City Laureate competition

In the years leading up to the anniversary commemorations, an annual competition is being held to find the next budding wordsmiths passionate about poetry and writing to become the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate. The competition is organised by Plymouth City Council in partnership with the South West literature development agency Literature Works, who are trying to find aspiring new writers in the city between the ages of 14 and 19 to apply for the honorary post. Additional information is available on the Literature Works website

Thanksgiving meals

School meals provider CaterEd will be serving traditional Thanksgiving meals across the city in November 2020, helping children understand the significance of the event and the values that underpin it.

Further education activity

A broad range of additional education activity is planned for the Mayflower 400 commemoration, including:

  • A range of workshops for events such as Illuminate 2019 and 2020 and the Mayflower Ceremony on the 16th of September 2020
  • Mayflower-themed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities for British Science Week in March 2020.
  • Involvement with the 2020 Mayflower Marine Tech Expo, including a competition for young people
  • Opportunities to work with The Box’s learning outreach team

The Story of the Mayflower told by Katy Cawkwell

A gripping, interactive, performance that follows the journey of Squanto, the native boy who was captured by the English, but who escaped back home to play a key role in the Pilgrims’ first year in America, and the journey of William (Bradford), the sickly boy from England who travelled first to Holland and then across the ocean, following a dream and trusting in God.  

Along the way, the children encounter many more of the main characters and events surrounding the journey of the Mayflower, ending with a short reflection on how these events are remembered today.  Katy makes use of dramatic gesture, questions, simple props and interactive movement to fully engage and involve the children in the story. 

The performance has been developed with input from academics and members of the Mayflower400 team to ensure historical accuracy and complements the educational resources available on the Mayflower400 website.  It makes a brilliant springboard for developing written work on this theme and would be excellent preparation for pupils entering the Plymouth Anthology of Young People's Writing Competition.

“Wow! Absolutely fabulous! What a fantastic storytelling session. Never before have a class of 32 Year Three pupils sat so enthralled, listening intently to every word spoken. What a great introduction to such an important historical event, linking together the history of our local area with the history of the United States of America. Can’t wait to welcome her back! This should be a must for every child in Plymouth!”  Sarah-Jane Tustain, Headteacher, Plympton St Maurice Primary School

Katy has been storytelling in schools for over 20 years and has extensive experience of working with children of all ages. See for more details.

Length: 1 hr+20-30 mins for questions and further discussion.

Target audience: KS2, but can be adapted for KS1 or KS3.  

Indicative cost: £125+£25 travel for performance for 60 children.

Contact: / 0776 246 9059 to discuss.

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