Top tales this term
Tales of St. Cuthbert
As an old hermit reflects on his life he recounts some amazing tales: how he worked as a young man guarding sheep before a remarkable vision led him to become a monk; his role as a teacher and his struggle to find space to pray; his life of solitude before a King came to visit and his close connection to the animals on his tiny island.
Tales of St. Cuthbert draws on contemporary accounts of his life to reveal one of our most important Anglo-Saxon saints and encourages pupils to ask questions about, and reflect on Cuthbert's life of prayer, his commitment to faith and consider how his story is important to Christians today.
A handling session, using replica artefacts linked to St. Cuthbert, introduces his life as a monk. Pupils can then design their own St. Cuthbert (when available, he is often edible!)
Suitable for KS1. Supports RE syllabus work on St. Cuthbert and NC History work on 'significant historical events, people and places in their own locality'. Sessions last 1 to 1½ hours to suit individual schools.
Tales of the Anglo-Saxons
Who was King Edwin? How did the Anglo-Saxons become Christians and why should we not call the period the 'Dark Ages'?
Hear tales of Anglo-Saxon saints and kings, learn about their culture through handling real and replica artefacts, take part in a range of hands-on activities and discover how an Anglo-Saxon monk wrote the first History book of England - and knew the world was round!
Choose from a range of hands-on activities including: seeing a real medieval manuscript fragment then writing using a quill pen; learning the skills of an archaeologist by examining an Anglo-Saxon "burial" and recording the grave finds; learning to use aerial photographs to identify Anglo-Saxon building remains; creating a simple woven band using drop weights; studying Anglo-Saxon carvings and creating your own inhabited vine scroll.
Tales of the Anglo-Saxons offers the opportunity for pupils to build a vibrant chronology, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. The session draws from contemporary documents (Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles), modern day writing and archaeological evidence to encourage pupils to select and organise historical information and develop an understanding of historical knowledge gathered from a range of sources.
Suitable for KS2. Supports NC History work on 'Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots', particularly Anglo-Saxon invasions, settlements and kingdoms, Anglo-Saxon art and culture and Christian conversion. Sessions last 1½ to 2 hours depending on activities chosen and to suit individual schools.
Tales from the Great War
Four different voices tell their experience of the First World War:
George's Tale begins in France in 1915 when he receives a very special box. Hear about his war from the postcards, letters and photographs he sends home first from France, and then from a much more exotic place.
Norman played for Sunderland AFC before the war; now he is ostracised because of his beliefs - but that's only the beginning of his nightmare.
Annie's Tale tells of life as a "munitionette" in the shell shop, or ammunitions factory. A young woman who takes up the call to work and discovers she is capable of more than she thought.
Frederick is facing Christmas in the trenches and wishing he was home - but then a Christmas miracle happens.
Each of these tales is drawn from real witness accounts, letters and documentary evidence to give an insight into the different ways lives were affected by the outbreak of war.
Tales from the Great War are supported by a handling session using real artefacts including medals, regimental badges, postcards and George's tin.
Suitable for KS2. Supports NC History 'a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupil's chronological knowledge beyond 1066'. Sessions last 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on numbers.
Suitable for KS3. Supports NC History 'challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day'.
The Angel's Tale
"The day he was born we all went - a whole host of God's messengers. But it was my job to stay with him until the very end."
A very special witness tells the Easter story as he unpacks the tokens he took from each of the key events: a palm leaf left on the road after the entry into Jerusalm; a piece of bread from the Last Supper; the cloth Pilate washed his hands on at the trial; a nail from the cross and some sweet smelling oil from the tomb.
The Angel's Tale concludes with the opportunity for pupils to reflect on, and ask questions about, the Easter story to develop an understanding of the meaning of Easter for Christians.
Suitable for KS1. Supports RE syllabus work on Easter. Sessions last 40 minutes.
Were you there?
Hear the Easter story from the point of view of those people who witnessed Jesus' last days. Joshua describes the hopes of those who watched Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Judas and James tell their stories of the Last Supper, Peter laments over Good Friday and Mary describes her encounter in the garden on Easter Day.
'Were you there?' can either be told as individual tales to specific year groups, or it can be delivered as a series of stations, with backdrops, handling objects and sounds. Pupils are led from station to station to hear a story and take part in an activity which allows them time to reflect on and ask questions about each tale to develop an understanding of the importance of Easter for Christians.
Suitable for KS2. Supports RE syllabus work on Easter. Sessions last from 40 minutes to approx. 1 hour depending on tales chosen and to suit individual schools.