Aims of the project
The Viking Age is one of the most vibrant periods of our history, and the Vikings had an enormous impact on the British Isles in language, politics, farming practices, art and literature. Our aim in the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons for Schools project is to make our research expertise in this area available to schools through carefully-selected, age-appropriate and tailored events. We aim to enthuse and encourage the next generation of experts.
These support schools in providing National Curriculum-compliant learning opportunities. For more information about the content of activities, see Experiences.
Content and Delivery
As both the Viking Age and the Anglo-Saxon Period offer plenty of material to talk about, the content of each session is agreed upon between the volunteer group and the school before the session is delivered. An overview of the kind of sessions we can offer is provided on our Workshop Days page. All materials needed to deliver the workshops are provided by the project.
Other important facts to note:
- sessions usually run in the autumn (but this may change)
- there are usually four visits per school, once a week or once a fortnight
- focus can be on Vikings or Anglo-Saxons or both
- bookings need to be arranged by late summer
- basic work equipment like scissors, pens etc. are provided by the school
All our volunteers will have studied the Vikings or Anglo-Saxons (usually both) in the School of English at the University. Many are postgraduate or research students in these areas. Staff enjoy being involved in our activities, too.
Volunteers have compulsory training covering:
- children's learning styles
- practical teaching methods and lesson planning
- care and use of artefacts
Training is provided, and activities are overseen, by University staff.
- Lesson outlines are scrutinised by project leaders
- Volunteers report on their experience and complete self-evaluations
- Schools are asked for evaluations at the end of the activities they are involved in
How the project started
In March 2010, Dr Sara Pons-Sanz and Dr Christina Lee organised a visit to the university for 60 pupils from a local primary school. The children had been working on Viking projects previously and brought their own work to show academic members of staff. During the day, there was a number of activities organised for the pupils, including short talks from academics about different aspects of Viking life, and activities similiar to those we are still offering in connection with our Workshop Days.
Following the success of this one-time event, the CSVA decided to expand on the concept. In collaboration with the university’s Widening Participation, we are able today to offer both in-school sessions and workshop days for schools.