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Picture gallery: Norwich school children enjoy Viking invasion

Youngsters learning Viking fighting skills with Thorgrim Axe-hand at Taverham Hall school. Photo: Bill Smith

Youngsters learning Viking fighting skills with Thorgrim Axe-hand at Taverham Hall school. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

Taverham Hall School was invaded by Vikings last week.

Fortunately it wasn't real Vikings but professional company, Hands on the Past, who created a Viking village in the grounds of the school.

Pupils were taught to defend their village behind a shield wall, stalk deer with spears and heard stories of the Viking hero, Boewulf.

Head of history at Taverham Hall, Irving Newton, said: “It was great to see how much the children enjoyed the experience of handling authentic artefacts from the period and acting out different scenarios.

“They couldn’t stop talking about what they’d done!

“We use a lot of drama in our history lessons at Taverham Hall and acting out important events like the death of [Thomas] Becket and the Battle of Hastings really helps the children remember the key moments and they particularly enjoy these sessions.

“Luckily our magnificent Hall and grounds lend themselves perfectly to such experiences.”

Other tasks included making bread, learning about and tasting Viking medicine and writing using the Viking alphabet.

The school’s pupils were enthralled by the whole hands-on experience, helping them to visualise some of the things they have learned about Vikings in lessons.

In year four, Saxon Early said: “The story was terrifying and exciting” while class-mate Ben Blowers loved the hunting, saying: “I liked trying to throw the spears” and Alex Turner tried on a Viking helmet, adding: “I loved the heavy Viking mask.”

Older children from year eight were also captivated.

Ed Briscoe, who was quickly employed as a shield holder, said: “I really liked the shields being hit by the axe when we were holding them!”

Victoria Baker thought the medicines were rather strange, saying: “They treated evil rather than illness”.

Her friend Ellie Richardson Howell enjoyed the story of Beowulf, adding: “I felt part of it, I felt really involved in the saga.”

Pupils from year three right up to year eight got the chance to join in the Viking fun throughout the day.

For more pictures, view our gallery at the top of this page.

Is your school organising an unusual event? Contact Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or alternatively email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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