Child dressed in Legionary armour on Roman in-school day. - Image copyrighted © Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.
Child dressed as Auxiliary Soldier on a Roman in-school visit by Lore and Saga - Image copyrighted © Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.
A handling and drawing session as part of a Roman in-school activity day. - Image copyrighted © Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.

Roman In-School Visits

Building upon the success of our Viking presentations and drawing upon experience working with the National Trust at Chedworth Roman Villa and Murton Park, one of the countries best known and busiest living history education providers, we started to run our Roman in-school visits about twenty years ago.

The presentation begins by establishing a time frame and discussing the evidence.

We focus upon the Roman Army and the conditions for the soldiers serving in it.

We describe the different types of soldiers and the important roles that the Legions and the Auxiliaries played in building the Roman Empire.

We explore the terms of service and the rewards that made joining the Roman Army such a tempting proposition.

While battle and warfare are an inevitable and unavoidable part of life in the Roman Army, we also discuss the grim reality and consequences of that kind of life.

The children of this generation have been brought up in a world where television is often one of their main sources of information. With many channels to choose from, on-line  videos, DVDs and game consoles all competing for attention it is not surprising that they are less likely to sit down and search for information in a book than the children of twenty years ago. 

Living history interpretation is powerful way to engage the interest of such busy enquiring minds. By presenting them with not just a picture of a historical figure but a real person that can talk and interact with them we can break down barriers to learning and present knowledge in a format that is truly unforgettable.

Our Roman school visits are designed to be fitted into your topic at any point, so you can either use it as a primer to build upon or use it to reinforce your own lessons.

A half day in school presentation lasts for about two and a quarter hours, spread over a morning or afternoon. This timing can usually be fitted around your school routine.

I will normally arrive at the school about an hour before the session starts and will require parking for a van and access to a space to set up, this could be a school hall or a clear space in a classroom big enough for the children, me and a lot of equipment.

If an activity day has been booked then tables and chairs will also be needed in the afternoon. These sessions often work better in a larger space like a school hall or gym although they can sometimes work in two closely situated classrooms.

Activity days are our most popular sessions and they include costume* for the children and a round-robin session of four Roman related crafts and activities in the afternoon.

All craft materials are provided and included in the booking price.

If time allows the day can then be rounded off with open questions from the children.

My intention is to use every minute you can give me to give your children one of the best days they will ever have in school.

After two decades of providing these sessions for schools, some of the pupils I worked with when I first started, are now booking me to teach the children in their own classrooms.

I think that speaks louder than words.

* Please note that due to enhanced hygiene requirements for Covid-19, we are currently unable to provide the children with costumes for our activity days.

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