You’ll probably be thinking that there is an awful lot of pre-1066 British history in the KS2 curriculum with the Anglo-Saxons being particularly prominent. The way round this, I think, is to skilfully link your teaching of the Saxons and the Vikings so the interrelationship between the two is properly explained without too much repetition.

You will want to look in detail at the reasons for the Saxon invasion (KQ1) possibly comparing with the Romans’ motives, and to explore the evidence we have for the Saxon way of life (KQ2) at different levels of society. The bells and whistles lesson for KQ1b has proved really popular. Key changes such as the coming of Christianity (KQ3) will need also to be carefully explored as a pivotal development in the nation’s past. The reign of King Alfred not only provides a great way of linking the Saxons and the Vikings (KQ4) using the living graph approach, it also offers a really fruitful context for exploring historical interpretations (KQ5). All these political and military aspects, of course, need to be balanced with some social history as in KQ6 (Saxon justice) and with the home study. To ensure that pupils have a clear overview of the whole period, and its importance in British history, KQ7 provides another opportunity to look at interpretations: in this case How ‘Dark’ were the Dark Ages? The full scheme of work is available below.
Treatment of the run up to the battle of Hastings is best left to KS3 where it often forms a major part of the first few weeks’ work.


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