The Stone Age has returned for children at Upton Junior School in Broadstairs who are exploring the prehistoric past.
As part of their Rock Bottom topic, Year 3 pupils embraced a Wow Day to reinforce the wide-ranging topic they have been learning about – and this included dressing up and making their own weapons.
The day’s programme included designing a tool or weapon such as a spear or an axe, making it after foraging for materials indoors or outside, and evaluating their creation.
They carefully considered the resources they had available, how to attach the head of their tool to the base, and if it would be fit for purpose. Pupils in school searched the Upton grounds for their sticks, before using clay to make the heads of the spears or axes.
Head of Year 3 Fran Pellett explained: “Many children and staff chose to dress up to fully embrace the learning experience. It was an incredible day, both at school and online, with children and families entering into the true spirit of being hunter-gatherers.
“They have spent time learning about the people who lived in the Stone Age, which has linked brilliantly to our English text ‘Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura, as well as the importance of flint and animals as a life-line for food, tools, clothes and shelter.
“The children have also studied different rock types – sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous – before focusing in on the sedimentary rock flint. Having learnt about its properties, it was clear to see why it was such an important part of Stone Age life. The children then used this knowledge to influence their designs and creations with some even trying flint knapping to sharpen their stones.”
The year group has also investigated the shapes that are around them in the natural world to inform a variety of pieces of artwork, inspired by Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy who creates art by using found objects to make pictures and sculptures.
Taking his lead girls and boys have explored naturally occurring shapes and patterns, such as in leaves and animal skins.
Mrs Pellett added: “They were tasked with creating their own art work, using land art. This could be anything that inspired them such as incorporating the idea of repeating patterns in animal prints or incorporating tree bark rubbings and leaf paintings as part of their designs.
“They explored the symmetry such as that found in the intricate patterns of a lizard’s skin or on a giraffe and also from found objects.”
Head of School Darci Arthur said that response to the topic underlines just how supportive families are being for children learning at home. She said: “The engagement from parents is excellent in all of our home learning topics across the curriculum in all age groups – it is evident in the high standard of work we are seeing every day submitted from home and by those in school.”
“The way we continue to adapt to the challenges we have faced during the last year highlights the teamwork that we are proud of at Upton.”
Great to see prehistoric studies in primary schools. But teaching the kids to make weapons is a ahistorical. The Stone Age as a hunter-gatherer society had not invented war and as far as we know violence between humans was onlysporadic. They should rely on the latest evidence.
How do you think they hunted without weapons?
Are these those “feral” kids that people are always complaining about?
(only joking, they look great!)