anglo saxonOutstanding KS2 history lessons on Anglo-Saxon Britain

All lessons below follow the outstanding Anglo Saxon lesson planner you can find in the medium-term planning section

To ensure that you follow the National Curriculum requirements, and more importantly to deepen pupils’ real understanding of this topic, it is important to plan it with the Vikings in mind. Indeed, there is a case for combining the two to make one longer topic. The reasons for this are clear. You can’t teach the Anglo-Saxons for long without mentioning the Vikings. For example, Alfred the Great was considered great partly because of the way he saw off the Viking threat at a critical time in Britain’s history. So our approach has been to have 4 enquiries relating exclusively to the Anglo-Saxons, and then a  couple which look at their inter-relationship with the Vikings.

Resist the temptation to get so bogged down in detail that pupils lose sight of the overview. That is why activities such as those in KQ4 are so important. Always remember: deep vibrant learning trumps curriculum content coverage every time.

In terms of the concepts being taught, there is ample opportunity to look at causation in terms of why the different invaders came to our shore, change and continuity as the battle for control of these land ebbed and flowed, and interpretations: was Alfred really great and were the Dark Ages in Anglo-Saxon Britain really that dark?

Planner, assessment task and knowledge organiser

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anglo saxons knowledge organiser
Anglo-Saxons knowledge organiser – KS2

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Outstanding Scheme of Work for teaching the Anglo Saxons

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ1a – Why did the Saxons invade? Push or pull?

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ1b – Where did the early Anglo-Saxons live and how do we know? Bells and whistles

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ2 – The mystery of the empty Saxon grave.

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ3 – Coming of Christianity – How did people’s lives change when Christianity came to Britain and how can we be sure?

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Anglo Saxons – KQ4 – Anglo-Saxons struggle against the Vikings – How did the Vikings try to take over the country and how close did they get?

This task encapsulates the struggle between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings in an engaging way that really makes pupils think…

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Anglo Saxons – KQ4b – Alfred and Guthrum: 878 the year things changed

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ5 – Alfred the Great. How great was he?

In this outstanding lesson, pupils are asked to critique and then improve the BBC children’s website entry for Alfred the…

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Keeping up to date with your teaching of Alfred the Great

The outstanding lesson on Alfred addresses the key question as to his greatness. Has it been exaggerated? You might like…

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ6 – How effective was Anglo-Saxon justice?

Pupils work in groups to create a series of short dramatic enactments, each of which illustrates a way of keeping…

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Anglo-Saxons – KQ7 – Were Saxon times really ‘Dark’ Ages?

Pupils design a two-sided paper plate on which they record the arguments used in the debate about the ‘Darkness’ of…

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How well do you and your pupils understand the Anglo-Saxons? Diagnostic Smart Task

This short activity contains a number of statements about the Anglo-Saxons (RS1) which can be used diagnostically. Some are correct:…

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10 things your pupils MUST know about the Anglo-Saxons

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What have the Anglo-Saxons ever done for us? Some KS2 answers

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