Key Stage 2 Viking Day - 18th Jan 2017
Class 2 arrived at the Branoc Hall for their Viking day to discover the entrance barred by a Viking warrior in full armour. When he allowed the children entrance to the hall, they discovered that he had set up camp in the hall. However, the Viking, whose name was Hrothgar, agreed to tell the children all about Viking life. One discovery was that the word ‘Viking’ was not actually used until the Victorian era. The Anglo-Saxons in fact referred to all Scandinavian invaders as ‘Danes’.
Hrothgar showed the children replicas of the variety of weapons that would have been used by the ‘Vikings’, explaining other, more practical uses for many of these. He then allowed the children to handle and try on a few helmets, chainmail and shields – which were all surprisingly heavy!
Later, the visiting warrior enlisted the children’s help in re-enacting a story of the Norse gods: Odin, Frig, Thor, Sith, Loki, Freya and the Valkyries. After lunch, he demonstrated how to play an old Norse game, Hnefetatl and discussed the logic and strategy involved, relating this to the strategy of planning battles. Finally, he told the true story of the death and funeral of a Viking chieftain. Some of the children were dressed in tunics to play the parts of the chieftain, his warriors and his slaves and then, at the appropriate moment in his explanation of the funeral rites of a Viking, all of the children joined in the funeral procession. As well as being a hugely informative day, the visit was a whole lot of fun. The day ended with an opportunity for the children to ask further questions about all that they had learned.