“And how many soldiers would you have left,” our tour guide continues, “after crossing the moat, pulling down the drawbridge, lifting the portcullis and ramming the gates? Zero”
“That’s a bit dramatic” a stunned Year 3 says in awe.
Yes, we have been learning about castles for half a term but the learning was deeply embedded when we visited a castle together. We had such vivid conversations across the day. “I thought it would be in ruins!”, “We can really learn about castles by visiting them, rather than just looking at photos.” and a favourite of the day: “But what IS dysentery?”
Even those who had visited before (and will again) accessed more on the day through the tour guides and informed Year 3 teachers.
We had discussed what a Motte and Bailey was, but to stand inside one, mediaeval music playing before traipsing up the motte - that’s when learning is internalised. Only when standing at the tallest point of the castle (after carefully holding the handrail whilst going up a forever winding staircase!) could you imagine spotting an invading army miles away.
We watched tournaments whilst considering the War of the Roses (representing York, of course), we ate sandwiches whilst gigantic birds of prey swooped on our heads, we played amongst peacocks and jumped when an actual trebuchet fired at our enemies.
Yes, our trip was absolutely fabulous, and it will be a useful experience and talking point for so much more of our learning to come across our last term in Year 3.