As part of their topic on Anglo-Saxons, Year 4 had a chance to find out why fire was so important. In order to cook their food and keep warm in the winter, the Saxons would have had a fire burning. Having a fire burning all the time means a lot of collecting of wood. The Yr 4 pupils had been to Hartshill Hayes and collected fire wood, just as the Saxons would have. They loved the experience, but decided if they had to do that every single day, whatever the weather, then they would have found it a bit of a chore.
Each class came out into the school grounds to have a session learning more about what life might have been like around fires. We learnt about fire safety and how dangerous fire can be. We all knew that we should never try to start a fire ourselves and that even a small fire could get out of hand very quickly.
We had a go at two activities; one was to practise collecting sticks and twigs and arranging them to make an effective fire. We collected dry leaves at first as kindling and then piled up tiny sticks, getting gradually bigger in a wigwam shape. We made sure there was plenty of air spaces as a fire need both fuel and oxygen to burn.
Our second activity was to cook bread over the fire! We were all very excited about doing this! We made a simple dough out of flour and water. We kneaded this dough in our hands until it was elastic and soft.
We then stretched it in our hands until it was like a mini pizza base. Taking a really long stick, we covered the end in foil and then wrapped our dough all around the end of the stick. We had to make sure it was not too thick.
In small groups, we were allowed to come to the fire that WildlifeKate had made. We had to crouch down and hold our dough on the stick over the glowing embers of the fire. It was really hot and we had to be really careful. Gradually our dough began to cook and we turned it around and around, trying not to burn it. After a few minutes, it was cooked and we could take it back to the bench.
We broke it open from the stick and it smelt lovely. Coating it with strawberry jam, we ate our fresh bread, straight off of the stick and it was delicious!
We loved doing this and lots of us want to try it at home with our parents next time we have a bonfire!
You can see more of our photos on our Flickr account at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92458971@N02/sets/72157648832221136/