Upper Key Stage 2 Stone Age to Iron Age Britain
Hill forts

Gain an understanding of the range of hill forts and their significance in Iron Age society. Investigate one hill fort in detail and produce a reconstruction drawing or model of a hill fort.

Session 1 Introduction to hill forts

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand the history of the British Isles as a coherent, chronological narrative.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends.

Geography

  • Name and locate counties and cities of the UK, geographical regions and their key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns, and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.

Planning and Activities

Learn about the background of hill forts. Use maps to identify some well-known and local hill forts.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To introduce the historical background of hill forts, explore the range of different types of hill forts and their distribution.
  • To explore where hill forts are built and why they were built in those locations.

Children will:

  • Understand the differential distribution of hill forts across the country.
  • Identify features on a map using a key.
  • Transfer features from one map to another of a different scale.

Provided Resources

  • Large scale map of Britain

You Will Need

  • Buy one or more copies of the Ordnance Survey's map of Ancient Britain
  • Print out or photocopy a map of Britain from the internet or an atlas on A4 for each group

Session 2 Were hill forts on hills?

Objectives

History

  • Address historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

Geography

  • Use the symbols and key of Ordnance Survey maps.

Planning and Activities

Make a 3D contour model of a map section with a hill fort.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research whether all hill forts were on hills.
  • To make a 3D contour model of a section of map with a hill fort on it.

Children will:

  • Read contour lines.
  • Answer historical questions using map-reading skills.

You Will Need

  • Old cardboard boxes
  • Photocopies of an Ordnance Survey map of your local area
  • Photocopies of Ordnance Survey: Explorer map 131 showing Danebury and Woolbury hill forts

Session 3 Looking at an example of a hill fort

Objectives

History

  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Geography

  • Read and generate four and six-figure grid references.

Planning and Activities

Research into life in Danebury in the Iron Age and find hill forts using grid references.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore what life was like at Danebury hill fort.
  • Locate hill forts on local Ordnance Survey maps. Record the grid reference for the hill fort.

Children will:

  • Follow and generate four or six-figure grid references.
  • Generate questions about a historical topic.

You Will Need

  • Ordnance Survey map of Ancient Britain
  • Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 131

Session 4 How do we know what the inside of a hill fort was like?

Objectives

History

  • Devise historically valid questions and investigate answers from a range of sources.

Geography

  • Become familiar with sketch maps and plans.

Planning and Activities

Use a plan from an archaeological dig to draw or model a structure.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research what has been found in Danebury interior using questions they generated in previous session.
  • To read an archaeological site plan.

Children will:

  • Generate questions about a historical topic.
  • Select, record and present historical information.
  • Read an archaeological site plan.
  • Create an information poster to inform others.

Provided Resources

  • How to read an archaeological site plan and images of Danebury

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 5 Visit your local hill fort

Objectives

History

  • Understand different methods of historical enquiry.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from different sources.
  • Ask questions about cause and significance.

Geography

  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps.

Planning and Activities

Take part in real fieldwork at a hill fort.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the physical remains of a hill fort and understand some archaeological methods of gathering evidence.
  • To undertake practical map reading and produce a sketch map of the hill fort and a profile of the rampart.

Children will:

  • Follow grid references and use a map and compass to find geographical features.
  • Create a sketch plan of a site.
  • Create a profile of an archaeological feature.
  • Start to interpret the archaeological evidence on a site

Provided Resources

  • Ideas on setting up a pretend hill fort in your school grounds and surveying instruction sheet.

You Will Need

  • Knowledge of the location of your local hill fort
  • Maps of your local hill fort
  • String
  • Line levels
  • Tape measures
  • Compasses
  • Clipboards
  • Squared paper
  • Calculators

Session 6 Create a display about hill forts

Objectives

History

  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.

Geography

  • Types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Planning and Activities

Make or draw a reconstruction of a hill fort, including physical geography features and interior details.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Write a narrative about the development of the hill fort based on evidence from that site or elsewhere.
  • Draw a scale reconstruction of the hill fort they visited or previously studied including features of physical geography like watercourses and gradients.

Children will:

  • Select and present historical information.
  • Present the human and physical aspects of a local historic landscape.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Model making materials such as card
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Modroc
  • Paint