Educational Resources and Services

Suffolk Archaeology, as the former county council archaeological unit, has a long, established record of providing a wide range of educational activities to schools, colleges and the general public. Now a Community Interest Company we offer a range of free education services and resources to local schools that will enhance children's learning and generate excitement and enthusiasm for any project they are following …

Classroom Modules


Our dedicated Outreach Officer is available for school visits and can offer various modules, themed by period, that can either stand alone or be combined together to stimulate and enhance learning. Although primarily aimed at National Curriculum Key Stage 2 any session can be adjusted to different age groups. free of charge

The sessions are exciting, engaging, and accessible to all abilities, with each giving pupils the opportunity to handle real and replica artefacts, learn about how we use archaeological evidence to find out about the lives of people in the past, and even take part in their own classroom dig.

To find out more about our free education services, or make a booking, please contact Alex Fisher or complete the form below.


Sieving for finds in the classroom

Excavation

Recreate an archaeological dig in the classroom, using our comprehensive range of dig buckets, sieves, trays and tools! This session can be carried out as a stand alone activity or used to compliment the period themed modules described below. We also have a series of collections of 'dry' artefacts including pottery, bone, shells etc to introduce children to the idea of handling and classifying artefacts.


Prehistory: Stone Age

Learn about the Stone Age by handling a range of flint artefacts, such as axes, arrowheads, scrapers and blades, and the tools used to produce them flint including stone and antler hammers and antler tines which were used for pressure flaking. There are also bone tools and a selection of bone and skins.


Prehistory: Bronze Age

As an extension to the Stone Age module, explore the dawn of the age of metals with our hands on reproductions of a bronze sword, socketed axe, spearhead and Beaker pottery. We can also supply a genuine Beaker funerary urn to look at.


Prehistory: Iron Age

This module delves into life before the Roman conquest. We have a range of weapons and clothing including sword, shield and Celtic clothes to try out. There are reproduction Iceni coins and genuine Iron Age pottery to handle.


Roman Military

This module offers a range of Roman military equipment; centurion and legionnaire helmets, shields, lorica segmentata armour, and weapons including pilum, gladius and dagger. Discover how the Romans fought wars and dress up as a Roman soldier.


Roman Home

A companion to the Roman military module, this includes a range of Roman pottery, lamps, strigils, coins, and brooches to help bring alive the domestic life of the Roman period. There are also bones and shells to handle and even a cooking recipe or two!


Anglo-Saxon

This module has a replica Sutton Hoo helmet, shield, seax and spear. We have examples of some complete Anglo-Saxon pots and the stamps used to decorate them. There are coins from the East Anglian region as well as the remains of a Anglo-Saxon feast.



Test Pit excavation

For those schools who want to carry out their own archaeological dig we can supply all the equipment you need, and the guidance of a real archaeologist, to dig and record one or more test pits within the school grounds. By excavating such test pits children can discover the history of their school for themselves through the discovery and interpretation of their finds.











Site visits

Whenever possible we also try to arrange class visits to our excavation sites, usually by approaching local schools when we have a suitable, and exciting, project about to start or underway. Unfortunately opportunities for field visits are frequently limited due to health and safety or timing constraints but please contact us if you would be interested in bringing a class to an archaeological site, or keep an eye on our news page for details of our current projects and upcoming events such as site open days.

Resources

We are developing a suite of resources on a range of period or theme based topics for the use of parents, teachers and schools, all of which can be downloaded below.


Period

Prehistory: The Stone Age Prehistory: The Bronze Age Prehistory: The Iron Age

Roman Britain The Roman Empire The Roman Military The Roman Home

The Anglo-Saxons The Vikings


Buildings

Buildings in the Iron Age Anglo-Saxon Buildings


How to guides

Build an Iron Age Roundhouse Make a prehistoric pot


Teaching ideas and suggestions

Archaeology is a multi-disciplinary subject and individual archaeologists typically use a wide range of skills and knowledge to explore our past. As a result aspects of archaeology can be used in many different ways within the KS1 and KS2 curriculums. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can use different subjects to look at the prehistoric period.

Information Technology

  • Use the internet to research objects from prehistory such as tools or weapons and make a short presentation about life in prehistoric Britain.

Maths

  • Make a timeline to show the chronological order of dates from the Stone Age to Iron Age.
  • Count forwards and backwards in hundreds and thousands to mark out dates and correctly order a series of given dates.

Art

  • Research designs and patterns on Beaker pots. Either draw patterns or impress them onto strips of polystyrene and print them onto paper.
  • Make your own pot using clay or plasticine and decorate them using combs, sticks, bones or fingernails. (see our ‘Making a prehistoric pot’ sheet).
  • Design Iron Age coins for a tribal king or draw and colour the characteristic ‘Halstatt’ and ‘La Tene’ Celtic patterns for mirrors and jewellery.

One schools artwork on Beaker pottery

Design and Technology

  • Understand how key events in design and technology have helped shape the world.
  • Consider how flint tool technology was used and developed to hunt for different types of prey. Look at how flint tools were made or watch a video of flint knapping online.
  • Consider how the introduction of metal work brought about new technological changes.
  • Look at the construction of roundhouses and the types of materials used. Follow our guide make a model or even a real one!
  • Cooking and nutrition, understand seasonality and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed and how the diet of prehistoric people changed.

Geography

  • Look at how land use patterns have changed over time from hunter gatherers to farmers,different types of settlement, land clearance.
  • Climate change - discuss how the Earth goes through periods of warming and cooling. Understand that the UK was joined to the continent and only became an island around 6,500BC.

Science

  • Consider the properties of different materials such as flint, wood, clay and bone and how they were used through prehistory, e.g. for tools and weapons, and building (wattle and daub) etc.
  • Research the manufacture of bronze and iron and their impact on everyday life.
  • Discuss how prehistoric people were attuned to the seasons, many monuments such as Stonehenge are aligned to the mid-winter and mid-summer solstice.

Literacy

  • Discuss the differences between the past and the present. Encourages children to express opinions and listen to those of others.
  • Expand vocabularies - research new words and make a glossary of terms.
  • Write diaries about living at different times in the past.



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