Year 8 HASS students are working on a variety of STEAM tasks to engage them in the medieval history topic.  This term, they are working on:

  • catapult kits (one for each student)
  • constructing models for display (catapult, trebuchet and ballista)
  • constructing long ships
  • making LARP weapons (reproduction Viking battle axe)
  • making and playing sets of medieval board games (hnefatafl and Nine Men’s Morris)
  • making faux stained glass to decorate the classroom
  • designing and playing a Conquer the Castle game (using their catapults).


Students chose to work on the various projects, and usually in teams. Work stations are set up in and around the classroom. In some cases, an assembly line approach has been used to completing the projects.

A key aspect has been some students taking responsibility for conducting audits of how many learning resources have been created and for quality control of the products that have been made.


The medieval topic is really interesting to begin with, but when students get to learn with a ‘hands-on’ approach, their learning, and more importantly their enjoyment, improves exponentially.  There is a wealth of STEM-focused learning in the medieval period – including the technology of forging armour, such as suits of armour and the famous Ulfberht swords.

The design features of helmets will be looked at, such as a circa 1000AD Viking (Norman helmet) and compared with WWII British helmets, NVA helmets (from Vietnam war period) and contemporary helmets (such as a Department of Fire and Emergency Services fire fighter helmets).

We will have students working collaboratively to think about design features, materials used in construction and functionality of the headgear.

– Graham Johnson, Head of Science