Open accessibilty tools

St. Peter's Super Saxon Museum

Exhibition title: St. Peter’s Super Saxon Museum

School: St Peter’s Church of England Primary School, Year 3 and 4

Topic/theme: Anglo-Saxons

Curriculum areas covered: History, English, Computing, Geography, Art, D.T, Maths, PSHE.

What we did to find out about our topic and create our exhibition

We took 90 Year 3 and 4 students to visit to Kirkleatham Museum to see The Saxon Princess exhibition, handle artefacts, listen to exciting stories and participate in super activities. It was also a great opportunity for our children to explore a real museum and begin their thinking about what they wanted in theirs. We had already started to explore the topic and had looked at its place in history. Back at school, together with children, we reflected on the visit and started to explore ideas and activities for our museum. Once all the ideas were collated, we gave each class 6 areas to focus on. The children were asked which area they would like to research and take responsibility for. This is then how the children were grouped. Each group had the opportunity to work independently as well as with teachers and TAs to guide and support them. The children used books and the internet to research their focus and shared their creative ideas with each other.

Our exhibition included:

  • Saxon film tent – films written and performed by the children
  • Welcome banners, visitors’ guide, feedback book
  • Café/gift shop
  • Interactive activities; Saxon games, coordinates map using Bee bots, weaving
  • Portrait gallery of Saxon kings
  • Alternative medicine cures
  • Saxon clothing, helmets and shields displays
  • Authentic artefact display with descriptions written by children
  • Replica Saxon jewellery made by the children
  • Archaeological dig
  • Clay pottery
  • Musical instruments researched and made by the children


Image Courtesy of St Peter's Church of England Primary School

How our students benefited from taking this approach

This learning experience has benefitted the children immensely! They gained such an in-depth knowledge of the topic as they knew that there was a real purpose to their learning. Their social skills, responsibility and confidence have developed. They showed a real sense of pride in sharing their work as well as demonstrating some very sophisticated knowledge to our visitors, who were equally impressed! The ‘buzz’ in school was palpable. From collecting ideas, to taking the role of a curator once the museum was open, the children took the lead and were fully immersed in their learning. The children were engaged in their writing and a huge improvement was seen in their vocabulary choices.

How I used the toolkit

It was really useful to see how other schools had produced their museum. We were inspired by the range of activities and displays and how other schools had adopted this approach. This helped us as a phase team to envisage what our museum might look like. The toolkit also made us aware of supporting resources, such as the loan box and templates. The loan box proved to be a valuable resource for the children, allowing them to handle the interesting artefacts and discuss how they could replicate them.

Image Courtesy of St Peter's Church of England Primary School

What I gained from this project

This project helped us as teachers to see the breadth of learning that is possible from a museum visit. Our creative writer was amazing and really brought the Anglo-Saxons to life. Her in-depth knowledge was infectious for the children. Their self-motivation and confidence in explaining complex ideas was also commented upon by visiting parents, impressed by the children’s in-depth knowledge. Working this way has certainly reinforced the importance of child-led teaching. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, as we usually pre-plan our lessons and have an intended outcome. With a little guidance and direction however, the children really took the lead with their learning and the outcome was greater than we’d ever expected! The success of this learning approach has given us the confidence to explore how it can be extended to future learning and other areas of school.

Image Courtesy of St Peter's Church of England Primary School

There’s even a short film featuring St Peter’s Primary school and their amazing exhibition on the Saxons!