History – considering the lives of Anglo-Saxon settlers

As part of their Connected Curriculum topic, studying the Anglo Saxons, Year 4 visited Roundhay Park. The children wanted to put themselves in the shoes of the Anglo-Saxon settlers, who arrived in Britain in 410 AD, after the Romans left. 

The Anglo-Saxons were made up of a number of different tribes including the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who came to these shores to find a better life.  Historians believe that some were invited to Britain to fight the Picts and Scots in the north, some came because there was more space and better conditions for growing crops and some came because their homelands had been flooded and they were driven out.

Year 4 visited six different sites around Roundhay Park and used their history skills and knowledge (as well as some geography skills) to decide which site would be most suitable for a settlement.  A successful Anglo-Saxon settlement would need access to water, have space to grow crops and rear animals, and it would need supplies of wood to build houses and keep the fires burning.  It would also be worth considering how sheltered a place was and how easily it could be defended if it were attacked.

The trip allowed the children to think like settlers and make informed decisions about where would be best to build a settlement.  It also gave them a deeper appreciation of just how difficult it must be to leave your homeland and migrate to a new country.

Overall, it is hoped that this memorable experience will support the children to remember and recall their Anglo-Saxon knowledge over time.