History in Action

Year 7, 2019 - designing castlesOnce again this year, Year 7 have been learning about the evolution of castles from the era of William the Conqueror. They have looked at the way in which castles changed over time and focused on the defensive and attacking features of castles.

To consolidate this learning they were divided into two groups and given a variety of materials to create attacking and defensive mechanisms in the main hall. All this work was in preparation for the students to design their own castles. They had four weeks of homework time to complete their project, they were therefore also required to organize their time effectively in order to meet their deadline.

We then had a morning of celebrating their castles, where each student presented their work explaining the key defensive and attacking features they included in their project.

Students then had an opportunity to evaluate the work of one another after the presentations.

Great fun was had by all, with some very effective learning taking place at the same time.

Home Learning Project – Castles


The aim of this Home Learning Project is that you increase your understanding of how and why castles were designed the way they were and the factors that made a castle effective.


Over the next few weeks, for all of your homeworks, you are going to design a castle. You will use the knowledge gained in lessons and your own research to design a realistic, practical, medieval castle. The design is completely up to you but it needs to be defensible and using features that would have been used in castle building at the time (i.e. no wet moats full of laser sharks!). You also need to consider features that will help you attack the enemy. Although you should focus on British castles, you might want to challenge yourself by studying other European castles. You castle research can start from 1066 and end in 1485.

Final Piece:

How you present your final piece is also up to you. You can build a model of your castle, draw a labelled diagram or an architectural plan. All design features need to be clear. Models should be no larger than 50cm2 and 2D versions should be presented on paper or card no larger than A2.

Marking Criteria:

You will be marked according to the:

  • presentation of your work
  • accuracy of your vocabulary, facts and evidence
  • descriptions and illustrations why your castle is the ultimate castle both in defense and attack
  • the effort that appears to have gone into your work