Celts, Saxons, and Vikings


Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view

Aims of the Course

The Dark Ages. This is the name often given to the period of European History between the end of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the rise of the Normans in the 11th Century. But were these centuries really as dark as previously believed? Join Miss Yvonne as we explore the landscapes, peoples, beliefs and events of the period and discover what the kingdoms, lives and adventures of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Viking peoples of Early Medieval Europe were really like. We’ll encounter famous figures such as King Alfred, the Emperor Charlemagne, King Offa, Aethelfled, Lady of the Mercians and Hilda of Whitby as well as diving into the legends of King Arthur and Vortigern to search for their historical origins. We’ll discover why the Roman Empire fellin the 5th century, and how Western Europe adapted to life without it. We’ll learn about of the amazing treasures of the period, such as the Sutton Hoo Burial, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Beowulf Manuscript and Offa’s Dyke and travel with Lief Erickson and the Vikings as they journey around the world and find America.

We’ll be working with some of the original documentary sources from the time, including the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other writers such as Bede, Scottish and Welsh Chronicles and the Norse Sagas to hear the authentic voices of the time, as well as learning from some of the leading modern Historians who write about the Early Middle Ages, such as Jackson Crawford, an expert in Norse Studies, and Michael Wood in his book ‘In Search of the Dark Ages. Weekly documentary watching helps bring the period to life, and students are strongly encouraged to visit sites near them, which are related to our topics, whenever possible.

Homework Expectations

The homework each week is to read about 50-60 pages of text, watch at least one documentary, write a short summary and answer three short discussion questions which are often based on completion of a short research task on a variety of topics including cooking and taste testing early medieval food, writing with Norse and Anglo-Saxon alphabets, designing your own illuminated manuscript, and writing the diary of a voyaging Viking. There are also many optional opportunities to write creatively in the form of stories and poems and reflect on students’ learning through art and craft.

Students attend a weekly one hour webinar where we have lots of class discussions and debates (with me talking and the students typing in the chatbox) about the key features of each week’s topic. There is also the (optional) opportunity to take over the role of teacher and do three presentations in class during the year as well as a range of other optional fun add-on activities.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

For UK students and other students wishing to take UK-style exams, while the course does not lead directly to a specific IGCSE/GCSE qualification, the Celts, Saxons, and Vikings course introduces and reinforces many of the skills needed for successful progression to exam courses.

For US students, this course can fulfil a high school credit in World History.

Who Teaches Celts, Saxons, and Vikings Course?

Yvonne Mason took her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature, then an MA in Medieval Studies from Royal Holloway in London while working as a costumed historical interpreter at the Tower of London. She has bee working as an online tutor since 2001 in both English and history. She home educates her daughter, and is an avid embroiderer in her spare time. She has plans to study for a PhD in Medieval Studies very soon.
See all courses taught by Yvonne