Anglo-Saxons & Vikings

Since 2014 the new National Curriculum has afforded separate status for individual units of work on the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Whilst this may be applauded in some circles, it has increased the amount of pre-1066 history to be learned, at the expense of more recent history. So we need to be mindful of this. As the history of the Anglo-Saxons is so intertwined with that of the Vikings, I think there is a good case to be made for creating a combined unit, hence the reason for placing the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings together in this category. Although I have created separate medium-term plans for both, some lessons are common to avoid duplication. It should be clear from the lesson titles which key question they cover. As always when tackling history units you will need to consider pupils’ conceptual understanding as well as knowledge of the past. You should see how the phrasing of each key question addresses specific skills and concept e.g. causation, interpretation, change and continuity.

Teaching Anglo-Saxons & Vikings for Key Stage 2

With effect from 2014, the new National Curriculum has afforded separate status for individual units of work on the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Whilst this may be applauded in some circles, it has increased the amount of pre-1066 history to be learned, at the expense of...
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Vikings: What were they like?

This lesson gives the topic on the Vikings a really active start. Pupils are placed in role as Saxon spies who have to find out what makes the Vikings' boats so special.  You'll love the technique known as reconstruction relay, because after the fast...

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

This highly engaging lesson places pupils in the role of detectives.  After a short briefing they have to work out the significance of the various clues found in the bodiless ship burial.  They then use their deductive power to work out which of 4 suspects...
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Anglo-Saxons: Coming of Christianity KQ3

A series of smart tasks, rather than a full outstanding lesson. The first part of this two part session looks at how it happened, the second at how we know. The early part asks pupils to grasp the narrative of events within a timeline from Roman...
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Anglo-Saxons struggle against the Vikings

How did the Vikings try to take over the country and how close did they get? (Vikings KQ3 & Anglo-Saxons KQ4)

This task encapsulates the struggle between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings in an engaging way that really makes pupils think about the dynamics of the...
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Alfred the Great. How great was he? KQ5

In this outstanding lesson, pupils are asked to critique and then improve the BBC children’s website entry for Alfred the Great. But first they need to see how history has commemorated Alfred and then carry out some research for themselves. This lesson offers plenty of opportunities...
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How effective was Anglo-Saxon justice? KQ6

Pupils work in groups to create a series of short dramatic enactments, each of which illustrates a way of keeping law and order / punishments meted out in Saxon times. These are then summarised before giving the real-life case of Edgar for them to decide...
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Were Saxon times really ‘Dark’ Ages? KQ7

Pupils design a two-sided paper plate on which they record the arguments used in the debate about the 'Darkness' of Saxon Britain. On one side they show the enlightened side of Saxon society. On the other, covered in black paper to represent the Dark side...
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