Year 7 Home Learning Project – HISTORY IN THE MAKING

At the beginning of the Spring Term, Year 7 studied the building of castles from 1066 to 1485, they looked at where and why castles were built, the ways in which castles changed over time and what would make a good defensive castle, which was versatile enough to also provide good attacking features.

In order for the students to really understand these concepts they were divided into attacking and defensive groups and spent a morning building attacking and defensive mechanisms in the hall, using all the resources in the hall as their tools.
The students then spent a period of four weeks’ worth of homework time designing, building, drawing and annotating their castles. Through this interactive project, students were able to take real responsibility for their own learning as they spent time actively planning, designing and building. They were given clear goals to consider:


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 homework, 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!). 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
  • the effort that appears to have gone into your work


Thursday 1st February 2018

Students then presented their projects to the class, explaining the key attacking and defensive features of their castles.

As part of the process the assessment was formative, students were given feedback on their project, the strengths and the ways in which it could be improved. Students were also given the opportunity to evaluate their own achievements, focusing on what they perceived to be the strengths of their projects and lessons learnt for next time. Great fun was had by all, you will see from the photos the students built some very innovative structures, one student made her entire project out of homemade ginger bread! Perhaps you can try and guess which one it is.

Building attacking and defensive strategies in the hall


The final product