Saturday, 29 September 2018

Year 4 Roman Workshop

As part of their History topic, the year 4s were treated to a workshop by Felix the Roman, who taught them all about what life in the Roman army was like. We are learning about different conflicts, and students were able to see what type of uniform a centurion would wear, what type of weapons they used, and how they would march in their legion, as well as learning some Latin! Through this workshop, students were able to get some practical understanding of life as a soldier.

As a result of this workshop the children can now use more historical vocabulary accurately, discuss the benefits and disadvantages of being a Roman soldier, think about how weapons and armour can be used as evidence, and can make comparisons between the Romans and modern-day life.

Two very strong students were lucky enough to try on a galea (helmet) with a crest of dyed red horse hair, as well as hold a gladius (short sword) in their right hand and a large scutum (shield) in their left. Felix explained different defensive formations they used such as the tortoise shell manoeuvre and attack strategies using a pilum spear. Then the students marched back in time through Gaul, Germania, Hispania and Britannia before arriving in Londinium for an aristocratic meal.

"Ad signa!" (Stand to attention)
"Senatus, Populusque, Romanus!" (For the senate and the people of Rome!)
"Dextra, senestra!" (Left, right)

Some students were unfortunate enough to play barbarian slaves tasked with feeding the aristocracy. They made delicacies such as elephant trunk and peacock brains. When the rich Romans were too full to eat any more, they would go to the vomitorium and tickle their throat with a feather so they could...relieve...themselves of being full.

"The chef has made you some raw doormice dipped in honey for dessert - delicious!" said Ruben

Fun Facts:

  • Roman aristocrats would lay on their sides and use only their right hand to eat. Why was that?
  • Gladiators were not Romans, but in-fact barbarians captured and forced to fight in the Colosseum against lions, tigers and even bears! (Oh my!). 
  • Doormice dipped in honey was a delicacy.
  • The red crest of horse hair on their galea made it easy for soldiers to see who was on their side during a battle. 

"It was so much fun, I can't believe they ate those things though" commented Nina.

"My favourite part was learning about all the armour, the helmet was so heavy" Kiera

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