School News

Year 1 Experiential Castle Workshop

21st November 2023

On Friday 17th November, Year 1 had an exciting educational visit from Dan Tastic Education, providing a workshop related to their current topic about castles. 

During the workshop pupils learnt about what being a knight involved, the jobs and responsibilities they had in protecting their village community. They got to feel and experience the materials used to make armour such as chain mail, leather, and plate mail; – this engaged all of their senses, as they imagined what it would feel like to wear such heavy, uncomfortable fabrics on their body but appreciated how the materials might protect them from various weapons. 

Later on in the workshop, pupils considered the advantages and disadvantages of various weapons such as longbows, crossbows, swords, and daggers. The children especially enjoyed trying on the knight’s helmet, exploring the replica artefacts and also learned what peasants and Lords and Ladies did for entertainment.

Experiential learning via workshops like these, provide essential context for children to access the content of the curriculum. In Key Stage 1, children are in their ‘preoperational stage’ (Piaget, 1952), where they learn to use language, think symbolically, and represent their ideas using pictures and objects: they are highly active, learning through pretend play and first-hand experiences. 

That is why experiential workshops, such as Dantastics castle workshop, are vital for supporting our pupils’ learning and development.

Mrs C Martin

Year 1 Teacher

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