To start the Year 5 topic children went on a trip to Dunstan Hall, where they experienced and were involved in an Anglo-Saxon reconstruction. The children began the day learning about how the Anglo-Saxons invaded and settled in the local areas of Yorkshire. During this, they were given a talk about how England was split into different Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms and how some of these areas still hold the same or very similar Anglo-Saxon names. Children were then split into 3 different groups; slaves, workers and the upper class. They were then sent out onto the farm to collect wheat grains to make their own bread. It was during this that children learnt about the typical day-to-day life of an Anglo-Saxon and what kinds of foods they would have eaten.
In the afternoon, the children learnt all about a local Anglo-Saxon battle, known as the Battle of Winwaed. Then came the most exciting part of the day. The children learnt how to defend themselves in a typical Anglo-Saxon style, using wooden shields and wooden swords. Children were lined up with shields chanting across the fields of Temple Newsam as if heading into battle! In addition to this, children were given wooden swords and in turn able to charge towards a target and attack! All children (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the day and the staff at Dunstan Hall made it all the more exciting encouraging everyone to get involved.
The day ended with the children huddled together in the barn for an interactive retelling of one of the Beowulf tales. Overall, this was a fabulous day full of hands-on learning, in which all children were able to participate.