Durham University Outreach Programme

Tuesday was not only Halloween, but a chance for Y5/6 to get to grips with the life and times of the Vikings as part of our history topic: the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.

John, from Durham University, gave us a varied and informative day.

Here are Lucy’s thoughts about the day:

Vikings!  Yesterday, a man from Durham University came in and told us historical facts about the Vikings, showed us some artefacts and told us about what kennings are.

Many of the everyday items we use today were what the Vikings used to use, just different.  For example, we think of candles as things we light to have a nice smell in our house, but it wasn’t like that for the Vikings.  Instead of the candles being made out of wax and a glass holder, they were made out of fat (which would smell horrible) and with a pottery holder.  Electricity is something the Vikings didn’t have, so they would use candles for light.

As you know, we have letters to write, the Vikings had runes.  I wrote my name in runes: it looked weird but was fun to do.  Designing our own rune stones with our names, and maybe date, on was brilliant, but confusing as the date wasn’t 31 – it was three tens and a one.

Vikings had riddles called Kennings, which include a number of phrases that describe a noun, without saying what the noun is.  Guessing what other people are describing is entertaining.  Kennings are less common now.

Yesterday was fantastic: we learnt lots of facts and participated in other activities.  Being able to write my name in runes was weird but was something I enjoyed.  I wish day could happen again!

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