On Thursday 24th November 2022, Year 5 enjoyed a Viking day. Our Viking visitor, called Thor’s Wolf – Son of the Hammer, welcomed us in traditional Viking Language.
He proudly showed us his colourful trousers that he told us displayed his wealth, because they were made with six metres of fabric, which was expensive, because of the amount of time taken in spinning the flax and weaving the cloth. He also proudly displayed a comb on his belt, made from reindeer antler – very expensive too.
We learnt about how the Vikings came across in their longships to raid monasteries before returning to Scandinavia. However, due to the long and wintry journeys, some decided to stay and settle in a fenced campsite. Because they were known as “Drakkar” (meaning dragon ships) they were thought to have had dragon heads on the stern and bow ends, very ornately carved and decorated.
The children also read lots of information boards, to answer questions in a quiz; they enjoyed learning extra facts, with some independence.
They also enjoyed playing a board game called “Fox and Geese” where they developed strategies for the fox to eat (jump over) geese or for the geese to surround and trap the fox on the gaming board.
The children had valuable opportunities to learn about and handle replica artefacts. Through clever questioning, they had chances to use their prior learning, to work out what some of the more puzzling artefacts were used for. We saw a drinking horn, a bowl made from horn, a comb, a pan, a wooden cup and objects used to smooth cloth like an iron.
Using a die, wedged into a tree stump, he made some coins, by punching a pattern of a long-ship and a face onto both sides of a blank disc. A Viking coin was worth around £25. If you wanted to spend less, you cut it in half, or a quarter (four-thing/farthing).
He then brought out his scales, to explain how the Vikings traded and bartered.
We listened to him speaking some olde English and Viking language and we tried to guess what he was saying, so we could get an idea of how our language has developed from Saxon and Viking languages.
We then had an opportunity to see him dressed in replica chainmail and a helmet and demonstrate how to use a long spear, a bearded axe, a broad sword and shield. He showed us how vicious the Vikings could be, by slicing a watermelon in half!
Did you know the Viking word for goat was gart and market was Wick, so Gartwick (now an airport) was once a goat market!