Year 3 Trip to Housesteads Roman Fort
On Thursday 27th April, Year 3 went on a trip to Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall. They had learned about Roman Britain in the Spring Term and this was a great way to enhance their learning and bring Roman History to life.
When we arrived, we made our way up the hill to the Fort itself. Our first activity was an artifact handling session. The children were presented with several artifacts linked to the Romans and had to decide what the object was, what it was made from and if it was a genuine Roman artifact or a modern replica. The children showed good knowledge and understanding and thoroughly enjoyed this hands-on activity.
The next activity was a Roman Murder Mystery. Our guide told us that when archaeologists had been digging at the Fort, they found two human remains. Because these were buried under the floor of a house, rather than in the burial site outside of the Fort, the archaeologists were convinced that they were victims of an ancient murder. In three groups, the children had to find clues hidden around the Fort and use them to come up with their own scenario of who the victims were, who had murdered them, and why. Each group then presented their theory to the others. Our guide explained that we do not know who the people were, or what happened to them, and this was a great way of showing the children that sometimes in History we don't know the exact answer, and we have to construct likely scenarios, based on the evidence we do have.
After lunch, we split into two groups. While one group looked inside the museum, and got to try on some replica Roman armour and costumes, the other had time to explore the Fort some more. They were set the task of finding out five facts, which they then had to tell the relevant member of staff for their group. Lots of the children were fascinated by the latrine and how this worked!
Our final activity was to walk along Hadrian's Wall itself. Just outside the main fort, a section of the wall is low enough to climb upon. As we walked we discussed how the steep bank to the other side would have made it very difficult for invading tribes to get up on the wall. We also talked about how the wall had to be wide enough for two soldiers on guard duty to pass each other easily.
Overall it was a great day, even if the weather was quite cold and windy, and I'm sure that it helped the children to appreciate more what life in our local area would have been like nearly two thousand years ago.
Mr Gareth Townley