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Anglo Saxon Life

Exhibition title: Anglo Saxon Life

School: Abingdon Primary School, Year 4

Topic/theme: Learning about local history: Anglo Saxon life and the Saxon princess

Curriculum areas covered: History, English, Art and ICT

What we did to find out about our topic and create our exhibition: We visited Kirkleatham Museum and took part in a fantastic day of activities. We then used a museum loans box and a website called Curriculum Visions to research more about museum artefacts from Saxon times and about Anglo-Saxon life. We wrote non-chronological reports in our writing lessons. We used the internet to research about different aspects of Anglo-Saxon life and learnt lots of facts to use in our reports.

We spent time in ICT lessons creating pop-up interactive posters on iPads. Each time a number was clicked on the poster, a child would pop up and tell you a fact! We also created 3D maze games. The walls of the games were Anglo-Saxon homes and the player needed to navigate the busy village to collect coins but avoid the Vikings.

Our exhibition included:

  • Replicas and real objects on loan from the museum
  • Welcome banners
  • Labels written by the students
  • Digital games and activities created by the students
  • What am I? games, so that people could come to our exhibition and guess what the Saxon artefacts might have been
  • Hands-on activities like spinning yarn
  • Students work on show included:

  • Clay pots made as Anglo-Saxon people would have done
  • Sketches of the Saxon princess jewels which we had seen in the Saxon Princess exhibition
  • Students’ writing
  • Image courtesy of Abingdon Primary School

    How our students benefited from taking this approach: The students gained a huge in-depth knowledge about this topic that they could not have achieved by simply looking at images on a screen. Handling items made it more real to them and creating the museum gave the children a real purpose for their learning. Children grew in confidence as they articulately explained their exhibitions to friends, family members and children from other schools.

    They now have a great love for history, writing and art which has been developed through our project. What’s more this has encouraged them to be more curious and investigatory about other school topics.

    How I used the toolkit: I used the high quality images and factual information on the online toolkit to inspire and inform the children when creating their art work and writing. We also took inspirtion from the photos in the toolkit of other schools that had previously created a museum in their classroom.

    We used the poster and label templates from the toolkit to display in our museum. There are also great ideas for games or activities to hook the children into learning about the topic.

    Top tips for other teachers:

    “Plan in extra time”
    Give yourself a week or two extra on your planning schedule, above what you think you are going to need. Things often take slightly longer or new ideas are generated from the children as the project progresses. These are great opportunities for children to take owndership of the project. Use every aspect of the museums loans boxes! They are a wealth of information, fun activities and exciting artefacts.

    “Give children leadership opportunities”
    Allow all the chilren to take ownership of a part of the exhibition that they have chosen to lead. They enjoy it so much more and you in turn get higher quality work and greater depth of understanding from them.

    Image courtesy of Abingdon Primary School

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