Spring Term – Year 3 Stone Age Visitor

On Tuesday 11th January, Year 3 had a visitor to introduce our new history topic, the Stone Age. Mr Shadrake was a teacher from Portals to the Past and brought lots of resources with him.  

Firstly, we began the day by talking about timelines and considering how far back in time the Stone Age was. We used a tape measure and had to imagine that each year was worth 1cm. It was an incredible distance from our lives now! He showed how 8 cm was only a fraction of the timeline. 

Next, he described to us the history that was in our county 12’000 years ago. He talked about how important Norfolk was for history because of the Iceni tribe in Norfolk. We were shown maps that demonstrated how Britain was land-locked and how people could walk between different countries that we know now. He described how people would seek sustenance and how people lived in small communities to protect each other from predators, especially from wild boars. We also discussed the impact of human pollution on our access to water now compared to in the past.  

Then, we considered creatures that would have roamed the Earth at the time. We were amazed to discover that badgers, foxes, hedgehogs and snakes have not evolved much since the Stone Age! We learnt about wild boars and were told that they were found near Wales during the Stone Age and that that was why most people lived in fenced off areas. Later in the day, we were allowed to handle all of these including a wolf rib, a cave lion’s jaw bone and a hyena’s fossilised poo! 

After that, we discussed how dinosaurs didn’t belong in the Stone age but still got to see part of a Triceratops skeleton and James held it. A group of children then modelled a Homonid shape and we discussed the different types of Hominids that used to live on Earth, as we had learnt about in our discussion of the evolution of humans over time. We took part in an activity that showed how our brains can reason and imagine and how that separates us from other animals. We looked at a diagram of our brains and which part helps with different processes and responded using our reflexes.  

After lunch we looked at different types of weapons and compared them to ones we have now. We saw how sharp a stone razor was compared to a craft knife that had gone blunt in modern day usage. We saw spears and axes and how spears could be fire hardened and discussed how tools were developed to have handles and the impact this would have on daily life. Henrique correctly suggested that the next step may have been a bow and arrow and was allowed to handle the Hungard bow.  

We learnt the name, Boudicca, “The Queen from Norfolk” and how her army almost eradicated the Romans from Britain! We learnt about the weapons that they would have used and how they would have been made. We heard about the beginning of the use of copper before bronze.  

Then we had a tribe competition where 2 groups had to try to rebuild Stone-Henge and later, a fishing competition with make-shift fish and fishing rods as fishing would have been such a key element of hunting during the Stone Age and our names were Eagle, Bear and Wolf because of their presence during this time period. So people didn’t hurt themselves, they used walking sticks instead of actual fishing poles. The two teams sat facing each other and had to pass the caught fish all the way to the other end before the points could be counted.  

It was a great day and our visitor commended the children on their knowledge and behaviour.  

Jessica said, “I found it really interesting because we were able to touch all of the objects and I really enjoyed touching the skeleton fossils!” 

Poppy said, “It was really fun and I found it fascinating as I didn’t know there were different types of humans until today! It was especially fun considering what animals were in the Stone age and thinking of my friend Mason as a boy in the Stone Age” 

William said, “It was very fun and I think it’s one of the best days I’ve had in school. There were lots of nice activities and it was very informative – I learnt that copper and tin makes bronze.”