Roman Afternoon - Hurstpierpoint College

Roman Afternoon

This year, the Roman Afternoon took place for our own Year 7 pupils only. In previous years, pupils from other prep schools also participated.

Children’s historical mysteries author, Caroline Lawrence, joined us again (this time via Zoom) as the keynote speaker. She spoke with such charisma and enthusiasm, it was as though she were in the room. Pupils heard about her new books, The Time Travel Diaries, all about worlds that are accessible only to children. She explained how she became fascinated with the ancient world through reading and how books are like time machines, transporting us through our imaginations and senses. She recounted how the inspiration for her new book was seeing skeletons of Roman Londoners and hearing about their lives through analysis of ancient DNA. Much hilarity ensued as she revealed her sponge on a stick and its use in ancient Rome!

Roman enactment

Then along came a Roman solider and Roman woman from enactment group, Legio II Augusta. The soldier brought a fantastic array of weaponry and armour, and described how each item would protect or kill on the battlefield. Pupils were enthralled by the pilum, a javelin designed to self-destruct once used. The Roman woman related many aspects of Roman life including slavery, how women dressed, toilets and Roman punishments. Pupils were completely captivated – asking excellent questions – whilst also handling equipment and artefacts in the breaks.

The newest addition to Roman Afternoon was a visit from Out of Chaos. Combining a creative physical approach to theatre and rigorous text work, this group investigates old stories and their relevance to modern audiences. In previous years they have performed Unmythable, whilst this year they delivered three tailor-made drama workshops. These enabled our pupils to explore Roman mythology and the commonly held beliefs of many people within the Roman world. At the end they were tasked with creating their own representation of mythological monsters which led to some excellent creativity. The most memorable being a live-action Medusa with hissing hair and her entourage of statues!

The feedback from pupils has been lovely, and we hope they enjoyed finding out what life was really like for the characters they study in Latin lessons and read about in books Clementine Faulkner, Head of Classics

Find out more about Academic life at Hurst Prep School

Read our most recent ISI Inspection report in which we were awarded an excellent grade in every category