Norman Wisdom

Is there such a thing as a stable structure?

In January and February of 2018, C22 embarked upon an expedition slice which was  called “Norman Wisdom”.

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
  • I can demonstrate my understanding of a text and develop a critical style in analysing writer’s craft, considering the impact of contextual factors
  • I can write as appropriate for audience and purpose and use grammatical features with my work to achieve specific effects
  • I can use the periodic table to determine the chemical properties of different elements based on their atomic structure
  • I can explain how different metals are extracted based on their reactivity
  • I can explain the chemical principles that give Saxon/Norman artifacts their properties

Our 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.  Alongside this, students were immersed into STEM immersion through creating Saxon artifacts in clay and casting them in Aluminium to introduce the idea of metals and alloys.

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.

In science, students began by looking deeper into the structure of atoms. Students used the Periodic Table to be able to describe the electronic configuration of electrons in particular atoms. They linked the electronic configuration with the position in the Periodic Table and an atom’s reactivity. This then lead onto Ionic, covalent and metallic bonding. This allowed students to describe Saxon and Norman artifacts on an atomic scale. Students then investigated how the metals used during these times were extracted by using the reactivity series of elements.

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 historical perspectives. Alongside their analysis of War of the Worlds as a GCSE study text; considering writer’s language, structure and the historical context. Student’s will be assessed on their understanding of the atomic scale through a GCSE level test, will present their work on bonding to the class, and will explain the nuances in metal extraction through a scientific essay. Students answer to the guiding question will give a good indicator on the level of mastery each student has gained on the content.

Finally, students culminated the expedition by producing an educational table-top activities to be used 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.

Links to all the resources relating to the development of the final product and the relating expedition can be found on this page.

Expedition Posts

Final Product – Educational Table Top Game


Paige & Joel: