All the sessions offered by Castell Henllys are linked to the key purposes of the National Park and the National Curriculum. Please contact Castell Henllys prior to your visit if you have specific objectives you wish to achieve during your visit.
Title of Day session: Daily Life in the Iron Age
Suitable for Foundation and KS2. Duration: Approx. 3.5 hours with lunch break but can be modified to fit school timings.
Taught sessions by our costumed interpreters where the pupils are taken back in time to the Iron Age where there will be Covid-19 regulations compliant demonstrations and activities. The content of each session are described below.
In this session, pupils will be introduced to building methods in the Iron Age by learning how to build a roundhouse. The talk will cover the sourcing of materials and its sustainability, the use of each material, the building process (wattle and daub demonstration) and what the finished house would look like and work.
Activity: After the wattle and daub demonstration the children will be allowed to have a go at wattling and then take part in the Builder’s game
Aspects of curriculum covered: Design and Technology, History, Mathematics, sustainability
Safety measures: Children over 11 years old and teachers must wear face coverings in indoor areas. The interpreter will wear a visor in indoor areas. Hazel will be left out for 72 hours before being used by the group.
In this session pupils will learn about where food came from in the Iron Age and how it was prepared to eat. The interpreter will demonstrate how they made bread.
Activity: The children will have the chance to use the quern stones to grind flour and knead/ shape dough.
Aspects of the curriculum covered: Science (nutrition), cooking, history
Safety Measures: Children over 11 years old and teachers must wear face coverings in indoor areas. The interpreter will wear a visor in indoor areas. The quern stones will be sprayed with antiviral spray at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.
The Chieftain’s Treasures
In this session the children will be introduced to the chieftain of the village. The chieftain will give a broad introduction to Iron Age society by talking about various artefacts in the house in a fun and entertaining way. For example:
- Favourite cloak- how clothes were made
- Mirror, torc, sword- Craftsmanship and the use of different metals, nice objects to show wealth etc.
- Cauldron- Gods and goddesses, sacrifices, watery places
- Antler/ head- trophies of hunting and warfare
Activity: Boasting game- children are divided into groups where they must choose a modern item that they have on them (shoe, socks, watch, ipad) and they must come up with a fantastical story as to why that particular item is the best of all of the items. The chieftain will decide which item they thought was the best.
Aspects of curriculum covered: Language, history, working as a team, problem solving
Safety Measures: Children over 11 years old and teachers must wear face coverings in indoor areas. The interpreter will wear a visor in indoor areas.
The Warrior’s Way
In this session the pupils will be introduced to Iron Age warfare. The interpreter will demonstrate and talk about various aspects of how Iron Age people went into battle (weaponry, armour, sounds etc.). Weather permitting they will also show and talk about the defences of the village and how slingshots were used.
Activity: Weather permitting- sling shot, weather not permitting fire starting
Aspects of the curriculum covered: Gender equality, history, geography, design and technology
Safety measures: Children over 11 years old and teachers must wear face coverings in indoor areas. The interpreter will wear a visor in indoor areas. If weather allows slingshot activity to take place the school will be allocated 2 slingshots and two dough balls. During the session two pupils can have a go at sling-shotting at the same time. At the end of the day the interpreter will get rid of the dough balls wearing gloves, spray down the slings with antiviral spray and place them in quarantine for 72 hours.
If weather is bad, interpreter will do a fire starting demonstration talking about the importance of fire for warmth, cooking, light and smoking meat.
Things to know before your Visit
Teachers are welcome to make free pre-visits to the site and we will do everything we can to assist them.
The school must ensure that it provides the required minimum staffing levels as set by their local authority for school visits. For all activities, however small the group, there is a minimum requirement to provide two supervising staff, thereafter a ratio of at least one staff member per 15 pupils.
Castell Henllys endeavours to make all its activities available to everyone, regardless of ability. Please advise us of any children with allergies, medical conditions and additional needs so that we can modify our activities accordingly. The walk to the village can be steep in places, please inform us if you have wheelchair users or pupils in crutches so that we can make additional arrangements.
Timings will have been agreed when making the booking. If a group is late arriving, we will try to complete the programme as agreed, but reserve the right to modify or cancel the session.
Groups must be suitably dressed for the variable Pembrokeshire weather. Strong or suitable footwear should be worn. Waterproofs are essential and it is suggested that children wear everyday clothes.
Health and Safety
Please advise us of any children with allergies, medical conditions and additional needs.
A risk assessment for the School’s programme are provided to the school with each booking letter. Please read these carefully and if you have any queries please contact us.
It must be stressed that the existence of a Castell Henllys risk assessment does not absolve schools from their own responsibility. School Staff need to have completed any necessary paperwork, including a risk assessment, that is required by their LEA or governing body.
The legal duty of care for the safe organisation and delivery of the activity lies with the Castell Henllys Staff. However the overall responsibility for the care, conduct, control and behaviour of the pupils remains with the school leader at all times.
If on the date of your visit, a Yellow weather warning (for any weather event) is issued or forecasted by the Met Office in the SA41 area, the site will call your school the day before to advise if the visit should go ahead.
If an Amber warning (for any weather event) is in force or is forecasted by the Met office in the SA41 area on the day of your visit, the site will call the school and the visit will be cancelled and re-arranged.
Should adverse weather be affecting the area of your school and your school’s ability to visit, please advise us at your earliest convenience.
Should anyone in your school develop symptoms before your visit please contact us at your earliest convenience to cancel or rearrange your visit. If you are placed under a local lockdown then contact us and we will re-arrange your visit or organise and alternative digital experience.
Should anyone in the class that has visited the site develop symptoms within 14 days after their visit please contact us at your earliest convenience.
Should anyone of the Castell Henllys staff develop symptoms within 14 days of your visit we will contact you directly.
Modifying or Cancelling an Activity
Occasionally circumstances change, and it may become necessary for either Castell Henllys or the School to cancel or rearrange a visit. When this happens it is important that all parties are informed as soon as possible. In the event of a visit being cancelled or rearranged we need to know the details and date of the visit and the school contact. After any changes have been agreed new letters of confirmation will be sent out.
Please note, cancellation within 48 hours of an event may incur an administration fee.
A fee will not be applied in the case of a cancellation due to adverse weather affecting the school or due to Covid-19.
On the day of your Visit
Directions for Bus Drivers
Please see end of this document for directions for bus drivers coming from the M4 or Carmarthen direction.
Castell Henllys expects the school to arrive at the site on the agreed time and fully prepared to complete the session. Should you be delayed for any reason please phone to make us aware of your delay. If you arrive late we reserve the right to modify the session to ensure pupils experience most of the activities of the session.
On arrival coaches should park by the church of St Dogfael where a member of the Castell Henllys staff will be waiting to meet your group. If the Castell Henllys staff member is not present on your arrival please remain on the coach until they arrive.
Typical Layout of the Day
- 10.30am: Arrival and Orientation
- 10.40am: Toilet stop and travel back in time
- 10.50am: Arrive at village, Welcome and put into groups
- 11am: Activity 1
- 11.30am: Activity 2
- 12 noon: Lunch break (20-30mins)
- 12:30pm: Activity 3
- 1pm: Activity 4
- 1.30pm: Collect bags, depart village and travel back to the present
- 1.45pm: Toilet stop and Walk back to bus
- 2pm: Depart.
Extra Covid-19 Precautions
We have taken extra precautions to ensure your safety during these times.:
- No members of the public will be on-site during your visit.
- The interpreters will wear visors for all indoor demonstrations and talks.
- Children over 11 years old and teachers must wear face coverings in indoor areas.
- Staff will spray down all seating areas used by the school with antiviral spray before the school arrives and when they depart.
- Please see the School’s programme Risk Assessment for more information.
It is the responsibility of the School Leader to ensure appropriate behaviour and conduct of the group at all times, and to support the Castell Henllys Staff when managing the group. Please note, if at any point during your visit the Castell Henllys staff deems a situation unsafe or unsuitable they can decide to stop the activity.
School groups can either pay on the day of their visit or be invoiced for the session after the visit. The cost per child is £4.50 (plus VAT). Supervising adults are free. Please confirm the number of pupils attending 2 days in advance- the number of children booked will be the number invoiced for.
We are only accepting card payments at this moment in time. Therefore the school can pre-order packs worth £1, £2 and £3 prior to visit.
In order to keep the illusion of travelling back in time, we have no waste bins in the Iron Age village. Please ask the children to put any waste back into their packed lunch container and take them home with them for recycling.
Directions to Castell Henllys for Coaches coming from Carmarthen area
- Take A40 out of Carmarthen towards Pembrokeshire signposted to Fishguard
- Follow A40 for 18.1 miles
- Turn right onto A478 Signposted Cardigan.Follow A478 for 15.2 miles
- Turn left onto B4332 Signposted Eglwyswrw
- Follow for 3.4 miles
- Turn left at T junction in Eglwyswrw on to A487
- Follow A487 for 1.5 miles to Brown sign Castell Henllys
- Turn right and descend to Coach parking area.