Bolton School Junior Girls

Workshops Help Uncover Medieval History

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Pupils in Year 5 at the Junior Girls’ School have been finding out about Vikings and Anglo-Saxons as part of their Learning Challenges. Interactive workshops helped to bring the history vividly to life.

A Viking visitor invaded the Library with lots of artefacts, including iron and wooden cooking pots, a maps of the Viking world and even a sword and shield. He talked about what life was like, the Vikings’ reasons for raiding the UK and even performed some ‘Viking magic’ by lighting a fire with flint, which was believed to contain the spirit of fire. The girls were attentive and enthusiastic throughout this exciting session and had lots of questions and ideas to share.

A second workshop combined history with mathematics as pupils used simple geometric shapes to build a Viking longboat and an Anglo-Saxon roundhouse. The girls spent the morning working in groups to turn bamboo canes and elastic bands into two- and three-dimensional shapes before combining them to build a large-scale model of a longboat. During the afternoon, they repeated the process to form a huge roundhouse in the Arts Centre.

Sitting inside the boat and roundhouse once complete, they imagined what these structures would be like if built from the materials originally used and heard more about the people who would have made them. In addition to helping them to understand more about the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, these activities called upon their mathematical knowledge and teamwork skills.

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