Variety is the spice of life for children at Upton Junior School – one moment you are dreaming up your own fierce dragon, the next you are designing shelters and buildings, and then baking tasty treats enjoyed by Saxon invaders.
Year 5 children getting to grips with gruesome fire-breathing beasts as part of their creative study of the popular text How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell.
Their task was to invent their own – some created huge, monstrous beasts, other opted cute and loveable creatures.
For example, one creature was pink with angel-like wings, paws soft as cotton, and brings happiness to everyone; in contrast another had dagger-like spike piercing through its skin, a ferocious blood-thirsty roar, and breath like a boiling hot furnace.
The girls and boys then used their creations as inspiration for their writing task to create a user manual on How To Train Our Dragons.
Head of Year 5 Tom White said: “The creative writing skills and design ideas were really imaginative and highlighted many contrasts between cuddly friendly beasts and monstrous beasts.”
Pupils have also been creating settlements using their gaming skills with the Minecraft computer programme to design a virtual homestead; while others are creating theirs out of more traditional methods using craft resources.
Meanwhile the year group is also getting a real taste for their topic which is Invaders and Settlers in Saxon Britain.
Armed with a traditional recipe from English Heritage, pupils have used oats, honey, butter, and dried fruits to cook up a batch of tasty and nutritious oat cakes that were a favourite in Saxon times.
Mr White added: “This was a fun way to experience the type of food eaten in Saxon Britain and how better to learn more than to cook it – and taste it – themselves. The results were delicious.”
As part of the wide-ranging topic, the pupils are also investigating Saxon place names.
They discovered that Broadstairs’ name originated during Saxon times, when it was Bradstow (Brad meaning broad and Stow meaning place), while Ramsgate derives from Ravens Gate.
The whole topics covers everything from the Romans leaving Britain in 400AD, through the Saxon invasions and settlement, through the Viking raids and invasions, right up to the Norman conquest with William Duke of Normandy’s victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066AD.
Mr White said Year 5 are finding the topic “incredibly exciting”, and he added: “We haven’t let lockdown disrupt our learning.”
Head of School Darci Arthur said: “Our children at home and those in school are really engaged with the variety of their learning – they respond well to different ways of exploring a range of subjects and ideas across the curriculum, in this case from creating dragons and settlements to baking Saxon oatcakes.”