The topic in Year 4 this term is ‘Olympians!’
The children spent all of Thursday with some visitors from Durham University learning all about the Ancient Greeks. First, the children learnt about where the Ancient Greeks lived and where all the different Greek city-states were. They learnt about the key symbols used by some of the states and that they liked to go to war with each other! The children also learnt that each city-state, or ‘Polis’, had their own leader and their own law. In Athens, they even had the start of a democracy! So, the children all created posters to try and get themselves elected as the leader. They all wrote a promise they would do as leader and then had to translate these into Ancient Greek. This was tricky and the children realised that some of the letters we have today, didn’t exist in Ancient Greek!
Next, the children learnt about offerings the Ancient Greeks would leave in temples to ask for help from the gods. They would leave votives that linked to what they needed help with, for example a clay cow to ask for good health of a farmers animals or a boat to ask for help with their journey. So, the children then sculpted their own votives out of clay.
After that, the children got to explore real life artefacts found by archaeologists from Ancient Greece. The children held pots and jugs made from clay or bronze, tried on a helmet, held a replica shield and many more objects. The children turned into architects when they had these objects, trying to work out what the object would have been used for, drawing detailed pictures of them and writing clear, brief descriptions of them.
Finally, the two classes joined together in the hall to participate in a piece of theatre. The children learnt that during the Ancient Greeks, only men were allowed to perform! The children took on lots of different roles, using masks to portray the characters. At the end of the piece, the children had to decide whether it was a comedy or a tragedy, with many struggling due to how funny they found the play but also how many tragic events occurred!