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Clenchwarton Primary School

Pupils swap school for Anglo-Saxons

A group of young time travellers saw their classroom studies come to life when they exchanged modern day West Norfolk for the Anglo-Saxons

The 64 Year 4 pupils from Clenchwarton, West Lynn, and Walpole Cross Keys Primary Schools, spent the day at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in Suffolk, which features eight reconstructed buildings from the time the site was occupied more than 400 years before the 1066 Norman Conquest.

As well as a recreation of the village set in 125-acres of countryside near Bury St Edmunds, the historic site boasts a range of indoor galleries, and is also home to a number of rare-breed pigs and chickens.

“We spent time looking around the museum exhibits and had an activity whereby the children could hold unknown artefacts and tried to figure out what it was, just like an archaeologist or historian would,” said Michelle Ryan, Year 4 teacher at Clenchwarton, who accompanied the children on the trip. “They really liked this activity and could read about the answers afterwards.”

“They looked at how each house was built slightly differently from each of the others, based on what the archaeologists thought their houses may have looked like and contained, for example sunken into the ground or built on top with floorboards, with windows or shutters or none, with a hole in the middle of the roof for smoke to escape.

“They also met a lady at the centre and two pigs called Apple and Acorn!”

The trip has become a regular event on the calendar of the three schools – all members of the West Norfolk Academies Trust – and ties in with Year 4 topics on the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings.

“Trips like these are very important for the children,” added Mrs Ryan. “Children who may struggle to learn conventionally in class learn so much on days like this.”