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Leicester Grammar School pupils swap books for swords to re-enact 1066 battles


Pupils swapped textbooks and desks for swords, shields and imaginary horses as they learned about two famous British battles – by re-enacting them.

Youngsters at Leicester Grammar School, Great Glen, recreated the 1066 battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings – when the army of Saxon King Harold II defeated a Viking invasion in Yorkshire only to be beaten by William the Conqueror's invading Norman on the south coast.

At 8.30am yesterday, dozens of youngsters donned home-made costumes.

They used the school grounds as their battlefield, while hundreds of their fellow students looked on.

History teacher Andrew Picknell said: "I've been looking at the hill on the school field every day while teaching about the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the Battle of Hastings to the year sevens.

"I thought it would be great to do something such as this outdoors."

Most of those involved were members of the grammar school's history society.

Eesa Davies, 12, who played a Viking soldier, said: "It was really good fun, although I died pretty much straight away.

"I got stabbed in the chest by a sword and I went down. It was quite cold but I didn't have to pretend to be dead for long."

Peter Barlev, 11, who played a leading role in putting on the production, took the plum role of William the Conqueror.

He survived until the end of the Battle of Hastings, although he did have to pretend to fall off his imaginary horse.

"I fell into the mud, which was quite upsetting because I ruined my costume," he said.

"But it was good fun. I signed up as William because I got a couple of lines and survived 'til the end."

Luke McCarthy, 12, who was also a Norman, said: "I think the audience probably thought it was pretty good because it was like a real battle.

"I survived but I did accidentally break my shield."

Charlie Greenlees, 11, said: "There were more than 800 people watching probably and they were clapping and laughing.

"When Harold died, the arrow landed near him and he took out another arrow and pretended it had hit him in the eye."

Mr Picknell said: "It was brilliant to get a good mixture of students involved and they put a lot of time and energy into their costumes and weapons, and the sixth formers did a great job on the narration. It was a great start to the day."

Leicester Grammar School pupils swap books for swords to re-enact  1066 battles

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