Y5 immersed themselves in their new learning journey, “Who Do We Think We Are: The Normans”, last week, when they re-enacted the Battle of Hastings on the school field.
The children were split into opposing armies and learnt about the ways the Anglo-Saxon and Norman Armies would have been organised. Members of Y5 assumed key roles – such as William the Conqueror and Harold Godwinson – and were kitted out for battle! Of course, given budgetary restrictions the cavalry had to make do with lacrosse sticks for horses and the infantry were protected by clipboards instead of oak shields.
The children then followed a script and marched around the yard, following the events of the weeks leading up to the battle and the battle itself. Whilst the Anglo-Saxon army looked in a strong position for the fight to come, a Viking invasion of the North of England meant they were not as strong when the Normans finally crossed the channel. Despite this, they were on the verge of victory during the battle, only for the Anglo-Saxon infantry to get over-confident and chase some retreating Normans, leaving then open to attack from the Norman Cavalry. At the key moment, a lucky Norman archer found the Anglo-Saxon King Harold and that was that.
Unlike the real thing, the “battles” were strictly non-contact and all sides had a great afternoon. The learning done will give the children great background knowledge for our next “Big Write” – a TV news report from the scene of the battle.