Rulers and Rebels

Year 5 have been learning about:

The Rulers and Rebels of England from

1066 to the present day.


Hands on History gave us the opportunity to find out even more about the peasants revolt and the English Civil War.

Year 5 are commenting below to share what they have learnt, not just during the Hands on History visit, but also throughout the course of this topic!

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47 Responses to Rulers and Rebels

  1. Josh says:

    I really enjoyed the Hands on History day. It made History more fun. My favourite 2 bits were when they fired the arrow in the air. It went higher than a plane and watching where it landed was good. The other thing was when the teachers got dressed up. It was funny how they looked. I learnt a lot of things including how a gun could destroy metal armour easily and how high a children’s arrow (at that time) went in the air. All the people running it were really nice and helpful. I would recommend this to anyone who dosen’t really like history because its much more fun. A perfect way to end the topic.

  2. Jude F says:

    the activities we did was grinding up corn to make flour, forming a shield wall and attacking our teachers,learning about all armoury in the time of king Richard II and king Charles I, we learnt all about the peasants revolt with John Ball and Wat Tyler and about the English civil war.

    my favourite part of the day was when we did the shield wall and attacked our teachers. one of the things I had learnt was how to match animal skins to animal skulls.I would recommend this because it is fun and you learn stuff

  3. Harry B says:

    I really enjoyed the day. We made flour by grinding wheat. attacked teachers with swords. Mr Burns dressed up as a knight. we saw how a ‘longbow’ works. I learnt that a gun can go through Armour.

  4. MADISON says:

    it was such a fantastic day yestaday i learnt alought more than i did know my favourite part of the day was when we had to attack are teachers. Which was for the peasents revolt in the morning. I liked it when they dressed people up.

  5. Thomas L, 5L says:

    On Friday, Hands on History were amazing. They taught me some things I could never even have hoped to learn about the Peasants’ Revolt and English Civil War, e.g. The coats Oliver Cromwell’s men wore were red because the dye used for making clothes red was the cheapest. We did everything from a shield wall to grinding flour and wearing helmets to matching animal skins with animal skulls, but my favourite moment for sheer goriness was when they pretended to cut Ms Taylor’s leg off! HoH was interesting, gory, fun and absolutely fab! After that I am thoroughly looking forward to the next time people come into year 5, and I hope they don’t disappoint! :-)

  6. Erin says:

    On Friday 24th April 2015, Hands on History came in to our school and told us about what happened in the Peasants Revolt and the English Civil War, my favourite part was they got the teachers to dress up as the important people who lived in those times.The activities that we did were

  7. Erin says:

    On Friday 24th April 2015, Hands on History came in to our school and told us about what happened in the Peasants Revolt and the English Civil War. My favourite part was when they got the teachers to dress up as the important people who lived in those times.The activities that we did were making flour out of corn, getting to feel the armor and lift up the chainmail hauberk and the other activity was where we had wooden shields and foam swords and the teachers had foam balls. We had to get to the teachers, trying not to get hit by the balls.
    Bet you can’t wait til it’s your turn!

  8. Grace B says:

    Friday was so much fun. We had two people from Hands on History visit the school. They had set up activities for us all to try. Activity one was where we made flour the old fashioned way. Activity two was really fun – we got to attack the teachers. Finally, activity three was where we got to try on armour.

    The whole morning was based on the Peasants’ Revolt and the afternoon was based on the English Civil War. Making flour was surprisingly good fun there were two ways of doing it. One way was where you had two stones on top of each other and wheat in the middle. There was a hole with a thick stick that was placed in it, that was the handle. We had to spin it round and round and eventually it came out as flour. The other way was that you get a huge rock with an even dent in it. You put wheat in and get a heavy stone, then you push it forwards and backwards and so on. Who knew that making flour was such hard work in those days!

    Attacking the teachers was my favourite part of the day. It’s not everyday that we can get away with doing that! We had foam swords and shields and we went charging up to them. Mrs Friend even came out and we did the same to her. Miss Mckenzie, Mrs Watts and Mrs Friend looked so scared! The teachers screamed and look terrified as we charged at them.

    Back inside we got to lift up chain mail. It was so heavy! We got to try on medieval helmets and so much more. After lunch they made a fire with a piece of metal and flint. We moved on into the field and where we watched one of the members shoot arrows up in the sky and land on the field. We went back inside and they showed us they would treat people without medicine in the Civil War. It was gruesome listening to all their gory facts. I found it fascinating that they have a chart for different colour pee!

    The teachers dressed up as soldiers, MPs, Watt Tyler and John Ball. This was our one chance to laugh at our teachers without getting told off!

    I had so much fun on Friday. It was the best school day ever and I learned so much.

  9. Harvey M says:

    I enjoyed it when we got to dress up are teachers. I also enjoyed all of the activities they set up for us. For example the flour making. You have to use corn to make flour either in a mill or by crushing the corn by crushing it with the flat side of a large stone.There was this fun activity where we had to hold a shield and foam sword and prepare to scare and battle our teachers. Look out we’re now trained fighters!!!!


  10. Leah says:

    On Friday, Hands on History came in. It was AMAZING! The first part of the day was dressing someone up in real armour! Then we split into our classes to do different activities. The woman who came in talked to us about weapons and how they’d kill people or how to treat a wound which was my first activity of the day.

    Secondly, we had a go at making flour; how people would do in the Peasants Revolt. We firstly had to grind some wheat with a heavy rock, then put it in something that looked like a two layered stone cake. There was a hole in the middle of the top layer, and that’s where you’d put the grinded wheat. You’d then wind the top layer around while the bottom layer was still. Flour would come out of it so we’d put it in a mug with a piece of cloth over it and sieve it into the mug. The mug was about a quarter full after we had made the flour.

    Our third activity was my favourite! We stood in line and picked up a shield. We’d then walk up to the teacher and attack them with foam swords while they were chucking balls at us. We did it three or four times before break.

    After break the man told us how to make a fire with flint and steel and he made one! Luckily, he had a bucket of water to stop the fire with. Then, we went to the field and he shot some arrows SO high, and SO far that we could just manage to see them.

    After lunch, the man brought in some animal skins and skulls and we had to do a quiz on what animals skull and skin was it. Then he showed in more detail how professionals would deal with wounds. He got our teacher and sat her on a table then told us to look away. A large light brown cloth was hung over the tables and drooped to the floor. There was also a hole in the table. Our teacher slid her foot through the hole and the man stuck a horrible rotten leg to her knee. We got to turn around again and he asked us if he should cut her leg off because it was so rotten. Everyone shouted YES! So he did. He showed us which kind of knives he would use for the flesh and the bones. Then once he had cut off her leg she took her leg out of the hole and that’s when everyone realised that her leg hadn’t been cut off. The final part of the day was the saddest and somehow the scariest. He took out another animal skin and it was a small bear. It was a child bear that had been hit by a truck. The part that made it scary was that there was a head attached to the skin but it had been carved out of wood but it looked SO real! Then that was the end of the day!

  11. Rosalie says:

    On Friday, I really enjoyed it when we tried making flour by hand, because we realized how hard it was for them to make a single loaf of bread. Sometimes they had to kneel down, put corn in a tray, and grind it into flour using a rock with a flat side, and sometimes they had two slabs of slightly rough stone with a hole in the middle, joined by a pin, and they put corn in between the slabs and turned the top one to grind the corn into flour.

  12. Josh R says:

    I really liked hands on history. First the peasant revolt, the best bit was attacking the teachers.
    In the afternoon hands on history made a fire with just rock and steel. After that he shot arrows up in the air. I would recommend it to anyone in year 5 because it brings you to the time in history. The best bit was trying on the helmets because they were used in war.

  13. Malachi says:

    My favourite part of learning about rulers and rebels was on Friday because we saw a real Archer Bow & a Musket which is an old gun which worked using gunpowder. I also liked it when we felt chainmail, which is what rebels used to wear to protect themselves. It was really cool watching the bow and arrow being fired in the field & the flint and steel was also interesting because it was how fire used to be started which is epic. I think it’s a really good idea learning about history hands on because it’s good to know who people were and what they did.

  14. William says:

    On Friday year 5 had hands on history and we learned all about the Peasants’ revolt and the English civil war.We did many activities such as making flour, we experienced the feeling of battle we also took part in putting on some of the amour they would wear. We also we watched a bow and arrow display and were shown how to make a fire out of flint and steel.

    William Year 5

  15. Evelyn R says:

    On Friday 24th April 2015,year 5 had a fun day as Hands on History came in and dressed our teachers up.Mr Burns [our caretaker] was also dressed up in the Armour that the soldioures would of wore in battle.
    We made flour and our teachers were throwing sponge footballs at us while we had foam swords and wooden shields to protect us,and some of us touched a real bears skin and that was nice and soft.I never got bored as they always kept us amused.I don’t have a favorite part as I enjoyed all of it.

  16. Rachel C says:

    When hands on history came in I learnt lots about the Peasants Revolt and the Civil War. Overall I liked looking at the sorts of clothes and weapons they used back then. I also liked it when they told us about fires and made one. I learnt a lot about what they wore in particular. These are some of the thing we did. Made flour, tried on helmets, held a chain mail, saw a fire, got to see what people back then looked like, saw a trick that made it look like their leg was getting chopped off, did a pretend fight, did a quiz on animal fur and skulls, got to feel bear skin and in general learnt a lot.

  17. Bailey G says:

    On Friday 24th April 2015, two people from ‘Hands on History’ came in and talked to us about the Peasants Revolt for the morning and the English Civil War for the afternoon.

    After they talked for a bit (and dressed the caretaker in a suit of armour) they then made the three classes do a different activity. There were three activities one for learning about weapons,one for making a shield wall and one for making flour. The other two things (together) we did, were see the man use flint and steel to make a fire and watch him shoot an arrow across the field.

    My favourite part was the shield wall because I learnt how to make a shield wall and we charged at our teachers. I would recommend ‘Hands on History’ because my brother was very interested when I told him.

  18. Holly W says:

    Last Friday we had Hands on History to come in and talk to us about our topic: Rulers and Rebels, we learnt more stuff about the peasants revolt and the civil war. The teachers were dressed in old armour from the two periods of history. We made flour and had pretend sword fights. My favourite part was when we got to look at the animal skins because I like animals. My least favourite part was when we made the flour because it took ages to grind it into actual flour. It is good that we have machines now to make flour otherwise it would be tiring.
    The animal skins where all from wild animals and some of the them are now extinct. There was a European Brown Bear, a Badger, a fox, a boar, a roe deer, an otter, a beaver, and a extinct breed of wolf. And there was their matching skulls. My favourite skin was the wolf because it was really soft.
    It was a really fun day and everyone enjoyed it.

  19. Adam B says:

    I thought that hands on history was an educational yet fun experience because I learnt how to attack enemies in a scary way and I also got to do it with foam swords and wooden shields.I also liked the bit where Mrs. Leif’s hair was shaved off. It was hilarious!!!

  20. Henry says:

    With Hands on History I learnt loads more than I already knew.For instance,the children made all the flower and that when someone needs their leg cut off that the surgeons in the time of the Civil War used the same method we do today.Also I learnt that during The Peasents Revolt people used Flint and steel to light fires,plus the nobles would wear up to their own body weight in armour if not more.But the bit I enjoyed most was when the children got a shield and sword(not a real one, obviously) and charged at our teacher as if we were a real army.It was a blast!

  21. Oliver says:

    My favourite part, I must say, was partly the skins and skulls and partly having my “teacher’s leg wounded”. Ah, the memories…

  22. Jacob D says:

    On the 24th April hands on history came in to Staplehurst school to teach the year 5 students about the peasants’ revolt and the civil war. They had their teachers dressed up, they were making flour out of rare materials and they even had the chance to attack there teachers with almighty safe equipment like rubber swords and heavy shields. My favorite part of the day was when Mr Burns (our caretaker) had to dress up as a knight from King Richard II’s army. We also had to try and lift up a metal chain-chest plate which was very heavy, the classes split up into three groups looking at different items made a long time ago. I learned that sometimes the army (when fighting in war) would split into two rows and that Charles I’s men wore red until he died and was beheaded, decided by Oliver Cromwell who ruled for next 11 years. I would recommend this to someone else to show how all in all the children had a wonderful fun time and that is what staplehurst school believe, that children should have a treat once in a while because of there sensible enthusiastic behavior.

  23. olivia s says:

    on Friday the 24 we were learning about history with hands on history

    we watched mr burns dress up as a knight and it looked very heavy and mrs Leith and miss Taylor dress up.then we made flower from corn with a rock and by using a bit of wood to move two pieces of stone that crushed the corn into flower.then we were fighting the teachers with rubber swords and shields while they were throwing footballs at us that was my favourite bit.
    after that we were having a talk about the armer and weapons after lunch we watched a bow and arrow being shot and we were learning about what to do with a cut in the peasants revolt and we did a quiz about animals.

    It was a very fun day and i learnt a lot of now things.

  24. Harriet B says:

    I had a brilliant day on Friday because it was are hands on history day. We learnt about The Peasants Revolt it was so funny because the teachers had to dress up as Wat Tyler and John Ball it was really funny, after that we went to different activities first of all we had a talk about all the armour and the weapons. After that we got to make flour we got a bit mucky but it was really fun. Then we learnt how to fight like the soilders. My favourite part of the day was learning about the curses. I learnt about lose of new things I learnt about the curses when somebody was going to shot a arrow thy would stick it in the ground to et all germs on it then fir it. I would recommend it to very one.

  25. JamesR says:

    Hands on History was a great way to learn more facts about the last 1000 years.

  26. JamesR says:

    The teachers dressed up as people like Wat Tyler and others. Mr Burns got dressed up like a knight from the 1300s.

  27. JamesR says:

    My favourite part of the day was when we got a shield and a foam sword and got to attack the teachers. They threw balls at us to defend themselves.

  28. Gracie T says:

    Friday was so fun . We got to fight with a foam sword and shield against Mrs Leith and Mrs Watts . They had foam balls to chuck at us to . After that we got to hold what they wore underneath their armour and one of their armour. Soon after we all had a go at making flour with a flat a flat stone and then two stones together. Out of around 44 goes we made around 10 grams of flour. After lunch we shot arrows into the field and then made fire with flint and steel. After we saw what they would of war when they were fighting and we got to see how they treated sore legs and stomarchs . It was disgusting! After that we saw some real animal skins and then did a quiz on them. My faviourte part of the day was seeing how they treated sore legs. I would recommend it to someone else because it was very fun and active!

  29. Milan V says:

    Here are some of the activities we did on Friday; attack our teachers with a rubber sword and wooden shield, grind corn into flour, hold a knight’s armour, teachers dressed up as; a peasant like Wat Tyler and John Ball, a Roundhead soldier and a Royalist. Also, we saw how to make a fire using Flint and steel, how to shoot a bow and arrow. Martin said that ancient soldiers could fire a bow and arrow two times as high as his shot, which was very high! We held the chain mail and it was extremely heavy.
    My favourite part of the day was when we got to see the teachers dressed up and how to treat an injured soldier. I learned how to make a fire when match sticks weren’t available, how to shoot a bow and arrow and how soldiers dressed up in the past.
    I would highly recommend Hands on History because it was an extremely enjoyable experience.

  30. Alfie S says:

    On Friday we had a company called Hands On History come into school.
    We did lots of activities including attacking are teachers in a shield wall. Watched somebody shoot a bow and arrow and making a fire.
    My favourite part of the day was attacking the teachers in a shield wall. Also I never knew how much armour people wore in the peasants’ revolt,
    I would recommend this because all of it was fun and we were never not doing anything.

  31. Molly says:

    Hands on history was really fun. When we got into the hall, the people that came in told us more about the peasants revolt and they dressed our teachers up as characters from the past. Then we split up into our classes and went out to do different activities. My first activity was fighting our teacher. We had foam swords and wooden shields and our teacher had soft balls which she threw at us. The next activity that I did was getting more familiar with all of the armour that would have been used during the wars at the time. Finally we ground corn into flour. We did this for half an hour but we made hardly anything even with 22 of us in the class. After lunch they showed us how high the arrows would go and they went really high. I cant choose my favourite part as it was all so fun. The reason why I would recommend it to someone else is because it was nothing but fun. I learned many things and enjoyed learning them.

  32. Daisy R says:

    I really enjoyed Hands on History it was so cool how I acually made flour! I loved the part when we got to fight the teachers because I learnt how they uesed to fight in real life. It really intreasted me (and made me feel sick) how in battle when they got nervous and needed to go to the toilet but they couldn’t because of their armer. So they did it in their armer and because they were on horses it splashed about.I would recomend this to someone else because it is really interesting and extremly fun.

  33. Reefe says:

    We did flour making, a fur and skull quiz, we attacked are teachers with swords and shields, we saw the armour they used in battle we also saw a longbow demonstration. My favourite thing of the day was when we saw the longbow demonstration. I learnt that a musket can go through metal armour a crossbow can make a small hole and an arrow can dent armour. I recommend seeing them because It’s awesome, educational, entertaining.

  34. Matthew says:

    My favourite thing about the History day was the teachers dressing up, I found Mrs Leith’s bald patch really funny. I learnt that you had to be very strong to wear all the armour. I found the day interesting and I would recommend to other children.

  35. Daisy says:

    The Hands on History came to school today. We did lots of different activities. We made bread by grinding corn to make four. We saw Ms Taylor’s leg being chopped off! We had a battle with our teachers, we used shields and foam swords, the teachers had squishy balls. I found out that in the olden days, if people cut their legs, they would get someone to have a wee on the cut and then put maggots in the cut and over it with a bandage. After a time they would take the bandage off and the cut would be healed. I really enjoyed the whole day. I couldn’t thank you enough, Martin and Paula, I had a great day.

  36. Holly C says:

    On Friday 24 April Year 5 had Hands on History in for the day to talk to us and show us what it was like in 1381 when the Peasants’ Revolt was going on. We made flour from wheat and fighting the teachers with swords and shields. We then had to see how heavy the chain mail was and stuff like that. But my favourite part of the day was seeing Mrs Taylor’s leg getting chopped off because it was showing us what doctors were like then. It was all very exciting and I learnt loads like how to attack and what would happen if a wound wouldn’t heal. I would fully recommend it because it was SOO fantastic!

  37. Robyn F says:

    Hands on History was a fun opportunity to learn more about the peasants revolt and the English Civil War. We dressed up Mr Burns and the other year 5 teachers to see what they wore at the time of the Peasants Revolt. We learnt how to build a wall with shields and how heavy the weapons where! Back in the time of the Peasants revolt they made there own flour from grinding wheat .Here are 5 facts that I learnt. 1. John Ball and other priests carried a cross that you could pray to then kiss .2.A long Bow is able to shoot higher than 2 metres in the air. 3.You couldn’t use a dagger or sword n a horse because it would get stuck in your enemies body so you would fall off your horse so your enemies can aim at you quiet easily! 4.On some of the helmets they only had breathing slots o the left because most people are right so they cant stab you through the breathing hole. 5.the round heads had a lot more armour than there opponents do. When your year 5 you’ll have a great time with HANDS ON HISTORY!!!

  38. Mollie l says:

    Hands on history was a opportunity to learn about the peasants revolt and the English civil war.At the start we dressed Mr Burns up and the other teacher s in to see the different clothes they wore back in the peasants revolt.we learnt how to make a shield of walls for when you are in battle.we had a go at grinding weather in to flour but we done it in two different ways the way they used to do it and the way we do it now.we mad a fire out of flint and steel it was really fun.Aswell as that the Martin shot a bow and arrow on our field.I had a really fun day with hands on history!when your in year five you will be able to do it too!!!!

  39. Tia R says:

    Friday was an amazing day we learnt about the peasants revolt and the English civil war I liked the bit where you dressed up our teachers and shaved Mrs Leiths head it was a brilliant day we had a fight on the playground with foam swords and sheilds hands on history are amazing and I learnt that the long bow shoots really high the bit were you made the fire was good and I loved it

  40. Tia R says:

    Friday the hands on history people came in I learnt a lot more than I did before and my favourite part was when they dressed the teachers up and let us have the fight on the playground with the foam swords and the sheilds it was an amazing day

  41. MrsLeith says:

    The Year 5 team would like to thank you all for your comments. We are glad that you enjoyed the Hands On History day and we hope you enjoyed blogging your homework this week.

    Well done!
    From Mrs Leith, Ms Taylor and Miss McKenzie

  42. Keira says:

    On Friday 24th April we had a company come in called Hands on History. They came to talk to us about the Civil war and the Peasants Revolt. It was so fun because the teachers dressed up and so did Mr Burns we also did three activities
    One was we had to make flour with corn and you had to push a stone on a stone plate and another one was to circle stone plates and we had to spin it round to make flour.
    Our second activity was battling our teachers and we shouted ‘hull.’ We used these foam swords and shield but the teachers had flat footballs to chuck at us but the best bit of the activity was whacking the teachers and that was my favorite activity.Our last activity was talking about what they would wear during battle.We felt the weight of the chain shirt and got to wear the helmet. In the afternoon we talked abut how to make a fire with just flint and steel which you rubbed together.They also shot arrows up into the sky and saw how far they went. After that they talked about the Civil war and they chopped of Miss Taylor’s leg but it was fake. But the favorite battling Miss Mckenzie.

  43. isabella says:

    on friday 23 we had some people come in to year 5 and thay was challd had hstary the peoel told us hoe to macke flower in tuer times we had a battal agest the teeachs it was verry good we tride ther hellmits on it was very hevery

  44. Daisy R says:

    This was one of my favourite topic in school. Thank you teachers for getting hands on history in.

  45. Millie says:

    It sounds like a really good topic and I would give it 5 stars and I wish I learn about it. And what is hands on history?

  46. Gracie says:

    It was a really good topic and I would give it 5 stars to

  47. Grace says:


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