Primary 6 have been learning about what it would have been like to live as a child during Victorian times. We had a great, but eye-opening, experience when we visited the Victorian School Room. We met Miss Ingram and Miss Craig who taught us a lesson in the three R’s, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. The punishment in Victorian times was thankfully very different to the punishment we have now. We quickly realised how important it was to use our right hand, to sit up straight and to answer every question with Miss at the end. Otherwise there was the threat of the taws or the wriggle board! We did enjoy trying to write neatly using the nib and ink and we liked the layout of the classroom so much that we thought we’d give it a try in our own classroom when we got back.
We also learned that hard work wasn’t finished when the children got back from school, they would have had many hard and tiring chores to do around the house. It’s safe to say that most of us are glad that we are children in 2018 rather than in the 1800’s!
On Tuesday we visited Lauriston Castle. We were invited by a friendly Dragon who needed our help. Sir Nasty McKnight had cast a spell that made Dragon’s castle disappear and he had been hiding at Laurston Castle ever since. We had to find clues to help make Dragon a new castle and a spell to stop Sir Nasty McKnight from casting any other spells! Luckily we managed to do this and Dragon flew away to Fairyland. Although we didn’t get to meet him, we did hear him snore because our guides, Mike and Erik, told us Dragon liked to sleep lots during the day. Once the spell was cast, Dragon zoomed through the sky, safely back to Fairyland. Some children thought they spotted his black tail as he flew away!
Primary 4 were put through their paces in training for the Roman Army this week. We had a fantastic afternoon learning about what life was like for soldiers in the Roman army.
We learned lots of facts about the structure of the Roman army and had the chance to try on some pieces of armour and clothing. The armour was extremely heavy and this made us think about just how tough it would have been for soldiers marching for hours at a time in the time of the Roman Empire.
We learned that the shields that the Roman soldiers would have used were extremely useful for both defending and attacking because it protects almost your whole body at once – we had the chance to test this out by trying to “stab” Joe, our Roman reenactor, with a sword, but he was far too quick with the shield!
Joe brought lots of Roman artefacts with him that we were able to have a look at. One big discovery we made was that the Romans didn’t have toilet paper, but instead used a sponge on the end of a stick that would be dipped in water while at the communal toilets – we’re certainly glad things have changed now!
The highlight of the afternoon was getting to practise some Roman battle formations. To help us march in time, we shouted “Sin, Dec, Sin, Dec” in rhythm with our feet. The whole class used their shields to create the Turtle formation. This was used by the soldiers when their opponents had archers. By the end, we found that our arms were starting to get very tired from carrying the heavy shields for so long!
Well it’s not every day that your class sets their very own Viking longship alight on a bonfire. But today was the day! Dressed in helmets and carrying flaming torches, a hagar of P3 Vikings, with the help of many willing parent volunteers, paraded their eight foot longship down the lane and through the woods to The Mansion Walled Garden in Gracemount. The children were chanting Viking boat songs all the way.
A huge bonfire awaited us thanks to Steven and the other helpers from the Gracemount Grows Stronger Project at the Mansion. In no time the boat was up in flames and the children gave out a great big cheer. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Steven and the other helpers and to all the parents who made it along at very short notice to take part. What a memorable event indeed.
An Edinburgh Evening News photographer attended the event and we have been informed that a feature will be in the newspaper, hopefully tomorrow (Friday). Be sure to get a copy fast as I’m sure they will be snapped up!
Update: We made the Front Page!
During Art, Primary 4 produced some Symmetrical heart mosaics for Valentine’s day. We found out that the floors and walls of Roman buildings were often decorated with mosaics – tiny coloured stones (tesserae). Many mosaics showed scenes of history and everyday Roman life. Rich Romans decorated the floors of their main rooms with elaborate and detailed mosaics to show off their wealth and importance.
We used coloured card, felt and metallic paper to create our wonderful designs and worked carefully to ensure that our designs were symmetrical on both sides. We hope you enjoy the results!
Primary 4 had an unexpected visitor from a Roman soldier. Fortunately he was a Roman reinactor from the Antonine Guard called Joe and he came in peace!
Firstly Joe showed us some images of other Roman reinactors dressed as Roman soldiers and explained their duties. We even had a mini quiz to test our Roman knowledge.
After that some of the children fought with Joe and pretended to be Barbarians. The aim of the game was to tap Joe with our wooden sword whilst keeping our shields up to protect ourselves. The scutum (Latin name for shield) was curved and very big so it was almost impossible to tap Joe. Kacper though, managed to strike him on the foot!
Afterwards we got to look at and wear some of the Roman artefacts. These included an oil lamp, a water bottle, a strigil, chain mail armour, an arm protector and sandals. There were two pairs of sandals. One pair was open toed and the other pair was enclosed. I particularly enjoyed rubbing my arm with the strigil because it felt nice and smooth.
Finally we went to the gym where we practised some battle formations. My favourite formation was the turtle. As we marched we shouted ‘Sin dec, sin dec’ just like the Romans so we could march in time.
Before Joe left he gave us all certificates to say that we had passed our Roman army training. The certificates also told us our Roman names. I hope you enjoyed our blog.
Blog Post by : Alice as part of Big Writing.
Find out more about the Antonine Guard