Lower I invades Colchester

Posted: 10th May 2016

History comes alive

Mrs Van Der Merwe, Form Teacher Lower I, reports on the heated battle which recently took place between the forces of Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, and the Roman forces at the battle of Colchester.  If any of you are thinking that this took place nearly two thousand years ago, you are right.  But Lower I re-enacted this historic battle on Friday 29th April.  Mrs Van Der Merwe takes up the story:

‘Friday 29th April was a very special day of learning for Lower I. We have been studying the History of the British Isles all year starting from the earliest Stone Age to the Roman Invasion and Settlement. We have particularly enjoyed learning about Boudicca, the Celtic queen who has been an example to British women for 2000 years and, in many ways, helped to shape the British Values we have today.


So that Friday we all dressed in full Celtic apparel, complete in some cases with plaits, jewellery and woad face paint, and celebrated Boudicca and her Iceni tribe in style.


We began with Celtic Maths. The Celtic number system had numbers from 1-20 and then objects like stones or sticks would represent each set of twenty. A variation on this system was still used to count sheep in rural parts of England and Wales up to sixty years ago. So we solved maths problems working out how many sheep the Celtic shepherds had counted and converting them into the arabic number system we use today.


In English the Celts may not have had a written language but they were amazing story tellers. We took on the role of the Bard of the tribe and worked together to create and retell old folk tales that may come from the times of the Celts using no written guides to help us and using our voices to create suspense and drama.

After lunch we shared some of our learning with the school at Assembly and then returned to the class for our History lesson with Miss O’Connell. A Roman soldier was lurking on the landing by the classroom so we took turns sneaking out to spy on him and drew pictures of his armour and weapons to help us plan the upcoming battle.


Then the Battle began. Upper I had very generously agreed to take on the role of the doomed citizens of Colchester. They were greatly disappointed to find out that they would have only three soldiers against the twenty-four of Lower I and that their main defence in the Battle would be to flee but, nevertheless, they approached their part with enthusiasm and gusto. Lower I as the Celts launched a successful and high spirited attack and in a short while Colchester was vanquished.




We returned to the classroom in high spirits and celebrated our victory with a Celtic feast of oat cakes, bread and honey and raspberries and imagined the roast wild boar that would have accompanied it. This was washed down with ginger ale as we boasted of our great victory and toasted our Queen.  This ended our day of Celtic adventure which will live on in our memories for years to come.’



Thank you to Mrs Van Der Merwe and Lower I (and the gallant Upper I) for their valiant exploits.

You may also like to view the video taken on the day – see the brave and noble warriors in action!


Categories: Junior Whole School