KS2 Saxon Day

5th June 2017

Life in Saxon Britain – A day of History at Frieth School

5th June 2017

As part of Frieth School’s history topic this term, Andrew Baron, a Lead Teacher from ‘History Off the Page’, spent the day with Key Stage 2 to give them the opportunity to learn about Life in Saxon Britain. During the day the children travelled back in time to ninth century Saxon-England under Viking occupation and experienced domestic life in an early medieval village. 

To prepare for the day, the children each dressed in wonderful Saxon costumes to reflect the period and had to choose a Saxon name. The workshops were set up as the market place of a ‘Frieth Saxon village’ where people could gather together to talk and gossip. Throughout the morning the children took on the roles of Saxons working at their various jobs and learnt through various activities and role-play what it was like to be a Saxon. 

The Frieth Saxon village was busy with: ‘Wise women’ making medicine and curing the sick; ‘Rune-casters’ who made clay runes (to foretell the future) and bags to keep them in; ‘Weavers’ weaving fabric and rope bracelets; ‘Potters’ creating clay pots and Ælf stones; ‘Metal-workers’ making clay moulds for metal casting; ‘Amulet makers’ making Thor’s hammers and even ‘Candle makers’ making beeswax candles. The children also enjoyed making ink and writing messages in runes and printing illuminated letters, such as those found in the Lindisfarne Gospels. Each pupil was provided with a bag for all their finished work to take home and share with their families. 

In the afternoon session the children travelled back to present day. They took on the roles of: archaeologists, excavators, researchers and professors to piece together the fate of the village using dig boxes filled with replica artefacts. As a spectacular finale to the day, the Lead Teacher used one clay mould from each class to cast their own Saxon brooch using pewter for the children to keep. 

The day was a huge success with the children having a fabulous learning experience about Saxon Britain. Our thanks go to Andrew Baron from ‘History Off the Page’ for enriching our History curriculum with his visit. 

Andrew Baron contacted Mrs Reid by email following his visit - this is his message:

Dear Mrs Reid, 

I am writing to thank you so much for a wonderful day last Monday when I visited to provide a Life in Saxon Britain Day for your Key Stage 2. 

The Christian ethos was very much in evidence as the children showed exemplary manners, respect and behaviour as well as entering whole-heartedly into the spirit of the day. 

The costumes were particularly fine, showing a huge effort in many cases. The parent support on the day was also fantastic in helping the children get a true immersive learning experience.

With best wishes,

Andrew Baron - History Off the Page