With Covid-19 restrictions easing, we were delighted to be able to take all our KS2 pupils from across the federation to Murton Park in York for an immersive Roman Day to enrich the topic work we are learning in school.
On arrival in York we were met by Centurion – the leader of the army fort we were to join. Our journey began at a traditional Saxon village to show the life we would have lived before the Romans arrived in Britain. Here, several generations of the same family lived together in single huts with only a central campfire for the village. There were no amenities or luxuries of any kind.
Centurion then enlisted everyone into the Roman Army and we travelled to an authentic re-creation of a Roman fort. On arrival everyone was given a Roman army uniform before being given a guided tour of the fort; which included barracks, a classroom, workshop and luxuries such as toilet facilities with seats and running water.
The morning was spent learning Roman writing and Roman numerals, as well as making clay oil lamps which were used to light the fort at night. All soldiers were taught a trade for use in the army, while also learning skills to help them earn a living when their term of service in the army came to an end.
After lunch everyone was equipped with Scutum (shields) and Pilum (a Roman javelin), and taken through parade drills and battle tactics before practicing their fighting skills with both the Pilum and Gladius (a Roman sword). Outside the fort we were taught how to form a defensive Testudo, where soldiers form a tight group protecting each other with their shields, before using this to good effect to fight off an angry Saxon who came to challenge our soldiers.
The day ended back on the parade ground with everyone earning their first Roman coin as serving soldiers in the Roman army.
The pupils were praised by Centurion for their curiosity and excellent background knowledge which enabled him to talk in more depth about life in the Roman army.