The Anglo-Saxons, Vikings & the Normans

Many teachers will be familiar with aspects of these societies from earlier versions of the National Curriculum.  The Curriculum 2014 introduced new areas such as the relations with the Scots and the continuity with the Normans.  These societies have often proved popular with plenty of interesting sources including archaeology and artefacts.  This is a crucial area of study with children given an opportunity to learn about the origins of so much of the United Kingdom.  There is plenty of scope for a range of fascinating historical investigations using a range of key historical concepts.

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  • Teaching ‘these islands’ from prehistoric times to 1066

    Article

    The first aim in the National Curriculum indicates that children should: Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider...

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  • Pull-out posters: Primary History 89

    Article

    Where did the Vikings go to in ‘these islands’? Ancient Greece – Did you know…?

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  • One of my favourite history places: Oakham Castle

    Article

    Standing by the stocks in the historic Buttercross of the market-town of Oakham, it would be easy to miss the hidden gem of Norman architecture that lies just a few metres away. Oakham Castle may be far removed from the traditional image of knights and castles, but there is something...

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  • Developing a big picture of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings

    Article

    ‘I have got to stop Mrs Jackson’s family arguing’: These were the words of a Year 3 pupil to her headteacher in reply to a simple question about what she was learning in history. What this pupil was doing was getting ‘a big picture’ of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and...

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  • Storytelling the past

    Article

    This article will demonstrate how to engage children through storytelling and how it can be used to develop their critical understanding of the past. Why story? Despite their common derivation, the words ‘history’ and ‘story’ suggest very different kinds of knowledge, the former carrying overtones of detached understanding of the...

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  • Blending history and creative writing: imagining a lost Anglo-Saxon poem

    Article

    Decoding a manuscript, exploring glittering archaeology, imagining the emotions and sensations of a battle, and learning Old English vocabulary. These are all tasks that we, as teachers of medieval literature in the English Department at King’s College London, have assigned to our undergraduate classes. However, Key Stage 2 children can...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Studland Village

    Article

    Studland village is situated in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. Purbeck is not an island in the normal sense of being surrounded by sea. However, it is surrounded by large hills to its north and has a coastline to its south, both of which cut it off from the...

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  • Scheme of Work: Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Scots settlement in Britain

    Article

    In this unit, children can be introduced to the idea that people from other societies have been coming to Britain for a long time. They can learn about some of the tensions involved in the settlement as well as ways of life and matters that impact on us still. This...

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  • Film: Making sense of the Vikings

    Article

    Focusing on the Viking world, this webinar explores how careful choice of content in one subject can extend what your pupils will achieve in another. It offers some practical suggestions on how you might combine a Key Stage 2 History study of the Vikings with the geography of their world...

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  • What can you tell about the Vikings from a chess piece?

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson looks at one artefact, and asks what it tells us about the Viking world, and Viking links with other societies and civilisations. In 1831, on a lonely beach on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, someone – we are not quite sure who – made an...

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  • Pull-out Posters: Primary History 82

    Article

    These images help to tell us more about Anglo-Saxon daily life.

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  • The Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings: push, pull, cause and consequence

    Article

    The Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings shaped British history in ways that are directly relevant to us today and inform our language, laws and culture. Without them we would not have some of our greatest stories, heroes and artefacts. The recent exhibition at the British Library on the Anglo-Saxons is testament...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Durham Cathedral

    Article

    The best thing about Durham Cathedral is how it impresses on every scale and from every viewpoint. As you approach the city by train, it looms over the skyline hugging the River Wear and even dwarfing its imposing neighbour, Durham Castle. When you finally make the steep walk up towards cathedral green, the building towers above...

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  • The Vikings: ruthless killers or peaceful settlers?

    Article

    This article outlines how one Year 4 teacher approached the topic of the Vikings. The teaching of The Vikings allows for a range of historical concepts to be explored such as: Chronological understanding – how long did Viking influence last? Where does it appear on the timeline of Britain? What...

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  • Pull-out Posters: Primary History 76

    Article

    1. Communication Across the Ages; 2. The British Museum's Sutton Hoo Helmet

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  • The gall nuts and lapis trail

    Article

    We are used to images of monks copying out texts in a very ornate manner. Books such as the Lindisfarne Gospels still absolutely amaze us with their colour, style and appearance. It must have taken hours and hours to copy out a text like that. But how was it done? And how did the monks make the inks they...

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  • A trail of garnet and gold: Sri Lanka to Anglo-Saxon England

    Article

    Sri Lankan garnet in Anglo-Saxon graves?  In 2009 news broke of a fabulous hoard of gold and garnet military ornaments unearthed in a Staffordshire field. TV reports mentioned the garnet might have come from Sri Lanka or India, but how could it have got here? I began reading up what used to be called ‘The Dark...

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  • Anglo-Saxon Women

    Article

    The Anglo-Saxon era is a diverse period that stretches across just over 650 years. Those we call Anglo-Saxons were not homogenous nor were their experiences. In AD 410 the Roman legions leave and the first Anglo-Saxon raiders appear. These pagan warrior bands would come to terrorise Romano-British settlements until, inevitably,...

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  • Vikings: ruthless killers or peaceful settlers?

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2016 in Harrogate. Sarah Whitehouse, University of the West of England The Vikings have been a popular choice for primary schools in the past and continue to be in the National Curriculum 2014. This does not mean that teaching the...

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  • Podcast Series: The Anglo-Saxons

    Multipage Article

    In this HA Podcast Series Professor Joanna Story of the University of Leicester looks at the history of the Anglo-Saxons.

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