Year 4 finished off this half of term with a visit to Chedworth Roman Villa. Ahead of this visit all Year 4 pupils spent time making a bulla (a Roman necklace worn around the neck as a locket to protect against evil spirits and forces. Bullae were made of differing substances depending upon the wealth of the family). Children also chose a Roman name each for the day.
The children had a wonderful day and were very lucky with the weather, which hasn’t always been the case in the past. The day started with a tour of the site and an amazing story of how the lost villa was discovered, involving a rabbit, a ferret and a dog! Next the children were shown the Water Shrine, a place that was considered holy and magical by the Romans. Year 4 pupil Adil was impressed with the Water Shrine commenting: “The best bit was seeing the newt in the water shrine”. Pupils were keen to see the hypocaust system, something they had only seen in the textbooks until today!
Having made some mosaics in the classroom the children were amazed to see some beautiful examples of full size mosaics. The mosaic of the four seasons in the dining room was exquisite and favourite of many of the children. The pupils the explored the steam baths which had a changing room, warm room, hot room and cold room. The children asked lots of questions and were keen to expand their learning. From the steam baths the children were eager to see the kitchen, complete with Roman bread oven. All of the pupils were surprised to see the latrina (a Roman toilet) and were particularly amused by the sponge on the stick! Back inside, the children were able to participate in a couple of workshops where they handled some Roman artefacts including pottery, animal bones and mollusc shells from past cooked meals, roof tiles, nails and tesserae. They even handled a roof tile that had the impression of a Romans child’s fingers in it.
The children enjoyed making Roman medicine bags containing herbs and spices thought to ward off colds and other illnesses. Eleanor especially enjoyed this activity, commenting: “I enjoyed making the scented medicine bag”. Pupils also enjoyed dressing up in traditional Roman outfits with Ollie KD remarking: “I liked dressing up as a Roman slave!”
Off-site trips allow our pupils to fully immerse themselves in their learning which we find helps reinforce the information they are taught in the classroom. This trip to Chedworth Roman Villa will long be remembered by our Year 4 pupils!