A workshop on Anglo-Saxon Warfare and Jewellery delivered by Tony North

This workshop is designed to cover the Anglo-Saxons unit of the KS2 National Curriculum for History. It is suitable for year 5 or 6*.

 Dr. Ian Martin and Rachel Bushby are now delivering this workshop. As well as the North West area they cover the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Main Activities

Session 1 (half day):

1. Learn about Anglo-Saxon weapons and armour

2. Make Anglo-Saxon helmets

Session 2 (half day):

1. Learn about Anglo-Saxon weapons and armour (unless already covered in a full day workshop)

2. Make Anglo-Saxon shields

You can either book a half day alone, or both sessions to make a full day.

Fee: £279 per class for the whole day or £199 for a half day.

Maximum 32 children/class.

 

To book: contact Ian Martin and Rachel Bushby on 01904 890 122, or email them at enquiries@timetrips.co.uk

 

Preparing for the workshop

 

Feedback from teachers and children 'The children thoroughly enjoyed the hands on workshop and were able to produce some fantastic artwork.'

 

Introduction

After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the peoples of northern Europe - Angles, Saxons and Jutes - quickly moved to fill the power void left in Britain, settling, taking control, and introducing their culture to the Britons.

1500 years later we still owe a great deal to these peoples, in our language, culture, and genetic inheritance. This workshop takes a look at one essential aspect of Anglo-Saxon life - warfare. The many stunning swords, helmets and other items created by the craftsmen reveal that this period is unfairly known as a Dark Age.

Children will learn about the legacy of the Anglo-Saxons and create one item in each session - a helmet and a shield. The materials and methods are of a very high quality and you will be impressed with the results.

We will also look at replicas of a sword, seax, shield and helmet. Children also get to write their names in runes and try rune puzzles.

Photos of a workshops

 

  

Replica of the Coppergate helmet which children will make. The helmet is made with gold and silver card,

templates, and bronze coloured tulle fabric, to give a chainmail effect.

 

Lesson Plan

Session1 (half day): Helmets

I will set out materials for the craft activity before the lesson starts. I will need some children to help.

 

1. Introduction to the Anglo-Saxons (10 mins)

Who were the Anglo-Saxons? Where did they come from and why? What changes did they bring to Britain and its people? (look at photos, maps, artistic reconstructions etc. on the whiteboard)

2. Anglo-Saxon Warfare (15 mins)

A look at Anglo-Saxon warriors and their gear. Children will see my replicas of a sword, seax, helmet and shield:

Click photo for a larger version.

seax

Replica of a seax (possibly used for hunting)

My replica of the Coppergate helmet

The real Coppergate Helmet, in the Yorkshire Museum in York. Mostly iron, it has now rusted. It was owned by a nobleman, and has two gold bands inscribed with a Christian prayer, and his name, Oshere.

Click here to see the inscription and its translation

 

3. Make helmets (100-120 mins)

 

Children work in pairs to make Anglo-Saxon helmets. They use a wide variety of high quality materials such as strong card, gold and silver metallic card, strong glue, and sellotape. The finished items look amazing and make a wonderful display.

 

Please note the helmets are more challenging to make than the shields.

Helmet made by children at Sutton Oaks Primary

 

If you book a full day, we will make shields in the afternoon. Over lunch break I will set out the resources.

 

  

  

Making a helmet at Sutton Oaks Primary

 

  

Side view of a reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo helmet

The Sutton Hoo sword (British Museum) and the Gilling Sword (Yorkshire Museum)

Decoration on the end of the Sutton Hoo sword

  

The famous Sutton Hoo helmet, in the British Museum

  The Finglesham Buckle, showing the kings of the gods, Woden

 

Session 2 (half day): Shields

The shield found at Sutton Hoo (early 7th century burial of a king)

1. Introduction to the Anglo-Saxons (10 mins)

Who were the Anglo-Saxons? Where did they come from and why? What changes did they bring to Britain and its people? (look at photos, maps, artistic reconstructions etc. on the whiteboard). If you book a full day and this section has been covered we will omit it.

2. Anglo-Saxon Warfare (15 mins)

A look at Anglo-Saxon warriors and their gear. Children will see my replicas of a sword, seax, helmet and shield. If you book a full day and this section has been covered we will omit it.

3. Make Anglo-Saxons Shields (100-120 mins)

 

Children work in pairs to make Anglo-Saxon shields. They use a wide variety of high quality materials such as strong card, gold and silver metallic card, strong glue, and sellotape. The finished items look amazing and make a wonderful display.

 

Please note the shields are less challenging to make than the helmets.

 

 

 

Shields were usually round with a conical boss. Little is known about the designs although metal decorations have been found and traces of colours painted on the front.

  

Children can choose from various designs. The rim was bound with leather. In the workshop brown wrapping paper is used.

 

 

  

A real shield boss

  

The bird decoration on the Sutton Hoo shield

 

If any children finish they can do a rune worksheet. They can write their name in runes, then put them on their helmet or shield.

 

 
 

 

Feedback from Teachers and Children on the Anglo-Saxons Workshop

'I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for yesterday. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have asked if you could come back again.' - Marie-Claire Cooke, Year 5 teacher, All Saints RC Primary, Sale (2017)

 

'We would like to thank Tony North for an amazing workshop and insight into the lives of the Anglo-Saxons. The children thoroughly enjoyed the day and made some very impressive artefacts of an unbelievably high standard. The level of detail that goes into the craftwork is outstanding. The children were so proud and were truly amazed at what they had managed to produce.

The session was well prepared, structured and implemented and Tony North made it look effortless. The quality of the shields, helmets and jewellery is exceptional. We will definitely be contacting Time Trips again in the future and would highly recommend this workshop for upper Key Stage 2 pupils.' - Nicola Cadwallader, Year 5 Teacher, Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary, Bury (2016) 

 

'The day was very informative for the children and engaging. The children learnt something new from their workshop. The children really enjoyed making the swords and armour. The morning activities were brilliant, the children were really stuck in and focused on the jewellery making.' - Chloe Hamer and Rebecca Male, Year 5 teachers, Brandwood Primary, Bolton (2016)

 

'The children had a fantastic day. They have said it was fun, exciting and wanted you to come back again!! Please find attached pics of artwork and some writing they produced about the day. Many thanks - we learned lots and had fun doing it.' - Annette Mitchell, Year 5 teacher, St. Aidan's RC Primary, Manchester (2016)

 

'The children had a fantastic time handling the Anglo-Saxon replica artefacts. They thoroughly enjoyed the hands on workshop and due to the quality of resources, they were able to produce some fantastic artwork. This was a memorable day for our children who have now been inspired to find out much more about Anglo-Saxon weaponry.' - Mike Burgess, Year 4 teacher, St. George's Primary, Hyde (2015)

 

'May I say once again what a super workshop you delivered. The children were totally engaged with the making of the shields, swords and helmets. They loved dressing up and seeing the artefacts you brought with you. The resources you gave to the children to enable them in the making were superb. Here is a selection of their comments:

"It was the best morning in Year 5"

"When the shields were done they looked amazing!"

"We hope that Mr North will come again."

"Everyone really enjoyed the day and we would think you would love it too!"

"We would like Mr North to come again because we had great fun!"'

- Annette Mitchell, Year 5 teacher, St.Aidan's RC Primary, Manchester (2016)