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Peasants, Princes and Pestilence - Summer Term 2

Lock your doors and pull up the drawbridge: the dreaded ‘Great Pestilence’ is here.

At the start of this half term, we’ll meet a strange character and use a range of source materials to research the symptoms of the Black Death. Our geography skills will help us understand how the black death came to Britain and why it spread so quickly. We’ll investigate the effects of bacteria on the human body and find out about disgusting and dangerous plague ‘cures’. Our personal plague journals will record the horror of the black death and we’ll write poetry inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer. We’ll learn about the ‘dance of death’ and perform dances inspired by Saint-Saen’s Danse Macabre. We’ll learn about different social classes, understand the reasons for the Peasants’ Revolt, take part in a mock battle and learn what it was like to be a knight.

At the end of the topic, we’ll find out about the Black Death through history and make a timeline of outbreaks around the world. Observing live domestic rats will help us to learn about their characteristics and life cycles. A medieval tournament will also be held to showcase our knowledge of medieval knights and demonstrate our jousting skills.

Help your child prepare for their project
This half term, we’ll travel back to the dark and deadly world of 14th century Britain. Why not visit your local library or museum to see if the 14th-century plague affected your area? You could also look around your house with an adult to see how many products there are that are made to tackle germs. Would they have helped to prevent the spread of the plague? Alternatively, read a book together that is set during a plague. How were the characters’ lives affected by the deadly disease?