For Year 5’s Viking Day this year, we started off in the hall to meet our Viking Visitor. At first, he spoke old Norse, which we didn’t quite understand. A few words were recognisable so our Viking visitor had to explain his name – Son of Thor with the hammer – and his costume. We learnt about fabrics, that cloth was expensive and day-today Viking life. We learnt about the different roles girls and boys had at home and where the Vikings came from. We also learnt that the monastery of Lindisfarne was raided by the Vikings, who had very different beliefs and values to the monks and Saxons who were living there. The Vikings didn’t care for their Anglo-Saxon chronicle or the Bible, but they were interested in fighting the monks, killing them and stealing their treasures from the monastery. After that, the Vikings burnt down the monastery and returned to their Scandinavian homelands. This was the start of many raids as the Vikings terrorised different parts of the British Isles. Our Viking visitor helped us to recap and extend our learning of Viking long-ships, with children in all three classes sharing off their extensive knowledge.
The children were most keen to learn about life in the settlements the Vikings made when they decided to settle and remain here. In particular, they learnt about the sights, sounds and smells of their villages! Elsewhere, Vikings continued to raid other lands such as the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Eric the Red, a famous Viking, even went as far as Greenland. His son went across to Vinland, which now we know as Newfoundland in the USA. Some Vikings went to France, to what we now call Normandy. The French called them the Norsemen, who became the Normans, and eventually the Normans came across to Pevensey on the south coast of England in 1066AD. After that, they came to Hastings where there was a terrible battle. Duke William of Normandy became William the Conqueror, and that was the end of the Vikings as we knew them in Britain.
After break, we split into our classes. One class went back into the New Hall to sit around the cauldron. The Vikings lived in long houses (appropriately named) so we imagined we were sat inside one while we learnt about Vikings’ daily life. The other two classes remained in our classrooms. In LW5’s room, we played a game called ‘Fox and Geese’ or Taefl, and in SJ5 we had quiz sheets to fill in with all the answers on information boards around the room. After half an hour of each activity, we swapped over so that each class could make the most of all of the activities. Finally, we all met again in the New Hall after lunch to learn more about Viking life. We looked at coin-making, trading and weaponry. We had such a lovely and informative day as you can see from all of our pictures and the things we have remembered!