Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Is invasion always a bad thing?

In January and February of 2017, Year 9 embarked upon an expedition slice which was called “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.

The learning targets were :

  • I can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the Norman Conquest.
  • I can analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about differing interpretations of the Norman Conquest

The immersion activities were based around fieldwork to Dunstan Hall where students reenacted life in 665. Students made bread without the use of modern technology, farmed the land using equipment from the period and used weapons. From this, students developed their understanding of how the Anglo-Saxons lived.  

Afterwards students started the expedition by studying one of the pivotal moments in British History, the Norman Conquest focussing on four key areas: Anglo Saxon England before the invasion; the success of William in claiming the throne; the establishment of Norman rule and the resistance to it; the impact of the Norman conquest on on English society. Alongside their historical studies, students critically appreciated and analysed The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, considering the conflict and warfare within its context. Students considered the writer’s motivations and how the writer presents his ideas through the narrative. They also considered the reactions of specific characters in the aftermath of the alien invasion, linking this to their understanding of other conflicts. Furthermore, students analysed the impact that the invasion had on the human race in light of the guiding question, considering whether it aided their evolution/development for the better or worse. Students spent site-study time at Conisbrough Castle to further develop their knowledge of castles.

As a result of their studies, students answered GCSE style questions to show the depth of their understanding and the skills they had developed with regard to interpreting different sources and differing historical perspectives. Alongside their analysis of War of the Worlds as a GCSE study text; considering writer’s language, structure and the historical context.

Finally, students culminated the expedition by producing an educational poster to be displayed in the Conisbrough Castle resource centre. Students were presented with a formal brief from English Heritage, and worked towards this throughout the expedition slice by upskilling their knowledge of Anglo-Saxon and Norman history, and generating several drafts on the topic to present to English Heritage for expert critique. Students had to also consider the appropriateness of their language and content for audience and purpose.  Critique from Green-Top primary and English Heritage themselves meant that students’ work was fit for purpose.

All resources relating to this expedition can be found below:

Expedition Posts

Final Product – Educational Posters

Unveiling of the posters at Conisbrough Castle