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Stone, Bronze and Iron Age Britain

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: History, Science
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 50 minutes minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 32
  • Venue: World Museum

Summary

This hands-on workshop offers pupils a unique opportunity to touch real and replica objects linked to the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages.  Using their powers of deduction, pupils will become junior museum archaeologists to discover what the objects reveal about the people who lived in Britain between about 9000 and 2000 years ago.

Please be aware that one of the handling objects used in this session is real animal fur. We ask teachers to check if their pupils have any allergies to this material and to inform us prior to your visit.

Further details

During the workshop pupils will be able to touch real artefacts including a real flint axe that was made by early humans over 250,000 years ago, a polished axe head from the Neolithic period (over 4000 years old) and a stone quern that was made during the Bronze age (over 2500 years old).  In addition there will be lots of replica items for handling including replica flint arrows, a birch bark quiver, stone and bronze axes, bone needles and fishing hook and a fish spear made from antler. 

The group will be divided into four smaller groups to take on the role of archaeologists as they look at and handle the artefacts. The workshop will cover people in Britain during the:

  • Mesolithic period, 11,000 - 6,000 years ago. People were hunting and gathering their food and living in the wild.
  • Neolithic and early Bronze Age, 6000 - 3500 years ago. About 6000 years ago people began to farm and cultivate crops as well as continuing to hunt and gather food.  Bronze tools were introduced around 2200BC, marking the beginning of the Bronze Age.
  • Later Bronze Age and Iron Age, 3500 years ago - 43AD.Life became more settled and the look of the landscape changed as people cleared the forests around their farmsteads, grazing animals and growing crops.
  • Iron Age, from about 800 BC. Iron began to be used alongside bronze and stone. 

We need adult help to ensure the pupils have the best experience and to ensure the safety of the objects. You must bring at least one adult per eight children. 

Please be aware that one of the handling objects used in this session is real animal fur. We ask teachers to check if their pupils have any allergies to this material and to inform us prior to your visit.

Curriculum links

Key Stage 2 – History

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • develop their chronological knowledge and understanding of British and local history
  • note connections, contrasts and trends over time.
  • understand  characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Skills

Pupils will:

  • recognise and identify artefacts used in the sessions and some of the evidence they reveal about life in the past.
  • begin to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.
  • begin to recall, select and organise historical information.
  • develop the use of appropriate historical terms.
  • address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.

Concepts

Pupils will:

  • be introduced to the work of an archaeologist.
  • be introduced to the work of curators and the reasons why the museum has a collection of objects from the past.
  • appreciate that some of the objects they are working with are thousands of years old and have to be treated with respect.
  • realise why we use replicas, that have been made in the same way as the ancient items, for a handling workshop.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Attitudes

Pupils will

  • appreciate that the objects they are working with are either thousands of years old or are modern replicas and that all objects have to be treated with respect.
  • see World Museum as a resource for historical research to help understand  the ancient world.