The Anglo-Saxon era is endlessly fascinating: the people were warlike and celebrated the great deeds of heroes fictional and real, but they were also creative, learned and devout, and fashioned a vibrant literary and artistic culture. The language we speak today is firmly rooted in the Anglo-Saxon period, and place-names often preserve that language very accurately.
Our aim in the 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.
Each year we aim to provide for primary schools:
- On-site activity mornings at the University (schools provide transport)
- Activities at Discovery Days and other events
These support schools in providing National Curriculum-compliant learning opportunities. These events depend on student volunteers and may not be available every year.
All our volunteers will have studied the Anglo-Saxons and their history and literature 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
Primary school events
We run a range of exciting and enjoyable events every year for primary school children of Years 3-7. Events are tailored to the needs of the school and the age of the children.
Sessions are designed to help schools in meeting National Curriculum requirements for topics on Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Activities include learning about daily life, history and place-names, archaeology and artefacts, stories and runes.
Follow the links below to explore which events might be suitable for your school:
- Anglo-Saxon and Viking workshops (schools visit the university for a morning event; visits elsewhere in the university, e.g. the Museum, can also be arranged)
- Discovery Days (at the University, run by the Widening Participation unit)
- Wonder (a festival celebrating the Arts and Sciences in the University)
Anglo-Saxon and Viking workshops
The School of English (which has world-leading researchers in Viking and Anglo-Saxon studies) invites school groups to visit the University for a morning of varied and exciting activities. Staff and students lead workshops, usually culminating in a mock (and safely presented) battle between Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. Children enjoy the experience of seeing the university, and afternoon activities can also be arranged with the University Museum. Schools arrange their own transport.
- Workshops usually run in autumn
- Usually one or two classes of children per school (around 30 or a maximum of 60)
- Refreshments provided for children, teachers and helpers
- A carousel of varied, immersive activities
- Bookings need to be arranged by late summer
Discovery days and wonder workshops
Opportunities for schools to visit the University in spring and summer are provided by Discovery Days organised by the Widening Participation unit. We have Anglo-Saxon and Viking activities similar to those mentioned under Workshops as part of an exciting range of learning experiences. Wonder is an open all-age event in the early summer - come and see what we do!