Photos from the first Pyramids workshop,

at Norris Bank Primary, Stockport, October 2012. Year 4 did the first session of the workshop, the 'experimental archaeology' activities.

1. Making pyramids from blocks. Children learn the four main types of block and how they fit together to make a smooth-sided pyramid. As an extension they write down how many it takes of each type of block for each layer, and try to spot the mathematical rules governing these numbers (including constants, multiples and square numbers).





2. Ramp building. Children work out how the ramps were built up the pyramid by making plasticine ramps up a model. They must make sure the slope is never too steep, by checking with a spirit level set to 8 degrees. Two groups try a single long ramp approach, and one group tries a spiral around the pyramid.




3. Checking verticals and horizontals. Children use replicas of three ancient Egyptian tools which were used to check that blocks etc. had vertical or horizontal faces, or had right angles. They check surfaces in the classroom and write down which are true verticals etc. and which are not. Is the corner of the table a true right angle? Does it have a horizontal surface? As an extension they use the tools to draw accurate vertical and horizontal lines and right angles.

Vertical plumb line

Horizontal plumb line

Set square


Painting a model of the Step Pyramid (part of the afternoon session, making a scale model of the Giza and Step pyramids.)