Northbourne Park School has a wealth of local history and on Monday 16th October pupils from Years 3 to 8 enjoyed a week of delving into it.

The children first saw the feudal system in action as they learnt how the land the school is built on was originally bestowed to Hugo de Port for helping defend Dover Castle back in the late 11th century.  They also learnt about links with the Prime Minister William Gladstone, the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp and the war poet Rupert Brooke.

Cosmay and Timwald from the Living History Workshops group came and spent a lot of time with the children, showing them how to spin raw sheep’s wool and write in runes using a quill.  The children enjoyed making coil clay pots, dressing up in Anglo-Saxon garb, grinding barley using a stone quern, playing ‘Jacks’ with bones, trying on a mail coif and lifting life-sized swords as well as handling century old artefacts such as fishing hooks and brooches. The pupils particularly enjoyed scratching mysterious runes into their own torc and ring.

Years 6 & 7 were given an interesting tour of historic Sandwich by members of the Sandwich History Society, delving deep into the town’s past.  The classes were especially interested in the battle of Sandwich which occurred 800 years ago, resulting in an English victory against the French.  It was particularly easy to envisage given the fact that a scaled down model of a 13th century Cinque Ports ship was on display in the school’s front entrance (alongside the model of a Viking longship and a Roman bireme).  These were loaned by Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

A carousel of artefact-based activities rounded off the week with Year 8 pupils presenting to each year group their box of artefacts or model ship, giving them the opportunity to research their items as well as present them in a meaningful and concise way.  The children rose to the challenge and delivered very interesting micro-lessons using Q & A techniques.

Christie Riley, Head of History said:

“It has been a fascinating week, filled with fun activities and experiences that will help the pupils of Northbourne Park put pieces of the history puzzle together successfully.”