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History comes to life at academy

ByCharley Williams

Jan 5, 2017

History is being brought to life for students as they turn classroom learning into practical projects made at home.

Year 7 students at The King’s Academy, in Coulby Newham, have been studying the Roman military, but rather than simply learning facts they have created their own versions of ancient armaments.

Thomas Nixon, 11, of Coulby Newham, worked with his dad Chris on a shield based on a Roman design.

“I looked on the internet at different designs and chose one that was really outstanding. I’m pleased with the results,” he said.

Aaron Harker, 11, of Coulby Newham, who drafted in his grandparents to help, said: “We used plywood for the front and pieces of wood at the back to make a handle, then painted it.”

Maddy Baker, 11, of Coulby Newham, added: “We’ve learned about what made the Romans so successful. The armies were split into legions of 5,000 men which were then split into centuries. They used spears, swords and bows and arrows. Some were on horseback but most were foot soldiers.”

Head of history at the academy Phillip Scarr explained: “We encouraged the students to be creative and to work independently on the project at home over two or three weeks.

“We’ve been really pleased with the results from the shield project which demonstrates how keen the students were to learn and the good level of understanding they developed about how the Romans used shields in attacking formations, which made them a very impressive army.”

History students in other year groups have been working on other projects to support learning in the subject.

In the 100th anniversary year of the Battle of the Somme some made model trenches, and a sixth form group is set to take part in the Great War Debate in Newcastle later this month.

Two students who visited the site of Auschwitz recently are planning follow up work and sixth formers have heard visiting lecturer Jo Fox speak on the subject of Nazi Germany.