Anglo-Saxon Workshop

University of Leicester visits AVA engaging Year 6 and 7 students in medieval history!

On the 21st October, the school had a visit from Professor Joanna Story from the University of Leicester, a lecturer on early Medieval history. It was a great honour to have such a guest and the Professor thoroughly enjoyed her stay at the school and was wholly impressed by behaviour and diligence of the students.

The Professor came in to give an assembly to Year 6 and Year 7 students about the Early Medieval world. The Professor talked about how the Vikings changed the landscape of England to help Year 6 students with their history lessons. The students benefited from someone with years of experience explaining how the Viking ‘invasions’ were more like migrations as Vikings came in slow waves across a long period of time. As for Year 7, they benefited from the talk by understanding how England changed from their previous study (the Romans) and how Britain transitions from Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England. This was done through a great interactive demonstration, in which a few blushing Roman faces had to marry an Anglo-Saxon. Year 7 students now have a great context of Anglo-Saxon England in which to help study the classic: Battle of Hastings.

The visit was a success in other ways too, it was nice to see a whole school approach being applied between primary and secondary. We had hoped that the Year 6 students would see themselves as being on a much larger journey in AVA than just the end of Year 6 by combining Year 6 and 7 together; it was also nice for some of the Year 7 students who went to Berryfields to see old teachers and familiar surroundings. Furthermore, although thinking about careers is a long way off for these students, meeting the Professor has hopefully allowed students to think about academic careers and that real ordinary people have these jobs, and that they are not exclusively for characters in films and books.

Some students have said the following in response: Yahya Khan ‘It is better than school’. While Annabel Hyland said ‘that she learnt a lot of valuable information’. Alex Mizerski ‘I didn’t know that Aylesbury meant someone’s fortified farm!’