The Iron Age Experience

Experience what day-to-day life was like in the Iron Age.

From September 2015 Forest School Plus, in collaboration with Herd Farm Activity Centre, offers a day of outdoor activities to support Key Stage 2 learning about the changes from Stone Age to Iron Age.

The sessions are led by Tina Roberts, a qualified teacher and Forest School leader, and Ian Roberts a professional archaeologist.

The Iron Age activities at Herd Farm utilise a typical reconstructed Iron Age farmstead, comprising three authentic full-sized replica roundhouses within a ditched enclosure, set in the rolling rural setting of north Leeds. The exciting setting is conducive to understanding and appreciating the challenges of prehistoric life and the skills and ingenuity that were required to survive over 2,000 years ago. Click on the following video link to view the site.

You and your pupils will spend a day in an Iron Age Village and find out how our ancestors lived. Pupils and accompanying adults will work in family groups, dressed as Iron Age villagers. Everyone will take part in exciting dynamic activities that reflect day to day life in the Iron Age.

The day will be spent mostly outside so pupils and accompanying adults will need to be prepared for the weather. The pupils will take part in group and whole class activities which will vary depending on the weather and the season. Any small artefacts made by the children may be taken back to school.

A typical day could include:

  • Comfort break before starting the experience
  • Welcome to Herd Farm and Introduction to Tina and Ian
  • A walk through time to the Iron Age to look at materials and resources available to prehistoric people
  • An introduction to the Iron Age village and becoming villagers
  • Two family groups (one with Tina and one with Ian) do Iron Age activities before lunch
  • Pupils to return to the centre for toilet visits and hand washing under supervision of accompanying adults
  • Eat lunch outside on the enclosure green, inside a roundhouse or in classroom
  • Groups swap to do alternative activities
  • Defend village
  • Village bonding – light a fire at the end of the day and share highlights
  • Collect any artefacts made by the children
  • Return to centre, visit toilets and return to school

Iron Age Activities could include:

  • Roundhouse making skills including wattle and/or daub
  • Farming, digging, planting, harvesting
  • Hunting and gathering
  • Defending including putting on war paint, target practise
  • Craftwork including weaving and basket making, shield painting, pottery making
  • Cooking, grinding corn and water collecting
  • Ceremonies, writing, making effigies


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