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.

Teaching 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.

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.

Teaching 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.

Teaching 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.

Teaching 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.

Teaching 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.

Teaching 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