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Manuscript detectives




During this project, Mrs Wheatland and Mrs Harding have challenged Year 5.6 to become Historians. To develop their Historian skill set, they will be exploring the turbulent period of History after the Romans and when the Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded our island. The children will enquire into everyday Anglo- Saxon life and will also explore the threat and subsequent invasion by The Vikings.



The children discussed what they needed to do in order to be good Historians.  They came up with lots of ideas including the following:  Ask questions about a range of sources, be curious, list to a range of ideas, consider how reliable different sources are. The children decided that they were types of 'detectives'. To develop these skills they were shown a range  of objects belonging to someone from the past. They were asked to  use the evidence to build a profile of this person and justify their responses.

First we explored what Chronology is and its importance when learning about the past.  We found out that Chronology is the arrangement of events by time. We then thought hard about how could show events happening through History, settling on the best option being a Timeline. A Timeline shows exactly when something happens during a specific period of history, what went before a certain event and came after and can also show when Invasions and conquests happen. Here are some we made below.

Anglo - Saxons


Mrs Wheatland and Mrs Harding explained that we were going to be focusing on the Anglo-Saxon period in History. In order to understand this period of time, we needed to recap on our learning about Who the Romans were, where they came from and why they left.

Who were the Anglo Saxons? Where did they come from?


We discovered that one of the main reasons we know about the Anglo-Saxon life was because of the Anglo- Saxon Chronicles that have been found. These Chronicles outline the events that took place in Anglo – Saxon Britain. The books were passed on to the monasteries who kept updating them until 1154.  All books were hand written and decorated by hand, usually by priests and monks. They were seen as very precious works of art, and you had to be very skilled to produce them.  
These manuscripts (which made up the books) were called ‘illuminated’ because the letters and pictures were often decorated with gold and silver leaf. The word ‘illuminated’ comes from the Latin word illuminare, meaning “light up.”  
We looked at a range of manuscripts and Illuminated letters and then were challenged to create our own.

Daily Life in Anglo- Saxon Britain

We then focused on what daily life was like in Anglo- Saxon England. We explored: Settlements, daily life (housing, food and farming), crafts and looked at Sutton Hoo. We also learned that Anglo-Saxons were pagans (believing in many gods). We explored their Pagan beliefs.