Lore and Saga - Living History Education ServicesLore and Saga - Living History Education Services

Specialist in Viking and Roman School Visits for Key Stage Two of the National Curriculum.

Award winning living history services and presentations for classroom education.

Viking School Visits

Many years of working with living history and heritage organisations such as the National Trust and Murton Park, one of the countries best known and busiest living history education providers, have of course given me a deep understanding of Viking life.

Equally important is that I am able use my enthusiasm for the subject to engage and stimulate children studying the vikings in your school.

Since 1998, when Lore and Saga was established, school visits and workshops have become the major part of  my work, delivering school presentations on most of the 200 days or so available in the school year.

A Viking in school presentation by Lore& Saga - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.

I actually stopped keeping a  full count a few years back, but at that point I had presented around  2000 sessions to well over 90000 children. The majority of those  presentations were Viking school visits but other topics included Romans, Celts and Pirates, both in school and on fixed heritage sites.

Probably the most important statistic though is that 72% of those school visits have been regular repeat bookings, with many of these schools describing  their Viking day as an essential highlight of their school year.

Norse trader with scales - an in-school Viking presentation from Lore and Saga. - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.

The presentation begins by establishing a time frame and discussing the evidence. I will of course be wearing accurate clothing from the period and the equipment I will bring to support the session will all be faithful reproductions of original archaeological finds and the best up to date information.

The main body of the talk is designed to involve the children in exploring the core issues of the  topic and is interactive and fast moving.

Many teachers comment on the huge amount of information that I can pack into a short space of time and, most importantly, how well the children remember it all afterwards.

It’s not all talk of course, there will be demonstrations and opportunities for the children to get involved as well.

We explore Viking life as sailors, settlers, farmers, traders and craftspeople.

Of course, when discussing the Vikings, the subject of battle and violence is unavoidable.

It can however be handled in a way that does not glorify the subject and this is the approach I prefer to take.

Warfare is shown to be only a small part of the lives of the Vikings and perhaps the least interesting or appealing.

My presentations are about Living History not Dying History.

How the Viking made fire - Part of an in school presentation by Lore and Saga. - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.

We are working with a generation brought up in a world where television is often one of their main sources of information. With many channels to choose from, videos, DVDs and game consoles all competing for attention, it hardly surprising that they are less likely to sit down and search for information from a book than the children of twenty years ago.

School child asking a question about a Viking axe - Part of an classroom presentation by Lore and Saga - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.

Living history interpretation is an ideal way to engage the interest of such busy enquiring minds. By  presenting them with not just an image of a historical figure but a real person that will talk and interact with them you can break down  barriers to learning and present knowledge in a format that is truly  memorable.

Our Viking school visits are  designed to be fitted into your topic at any point, so you can either  use it to reinforce your own lessons or use it as a primer to build  upon. 

A half day in school presentation lasts about two and a half hours, spread over a  morning or afternoon. This timing can usually be fitted around your  school routine.

I will normally arrive at the school to set up about an hour before the session starts and will need parking for a van and access to a space to set up, this could be a  school hall or a clear space in a classroom big enough for the children, myself and a lot of equipment.

If an activity day has been booked then tables and chairs will also be needed in the afternoon and these sessions often work better in a larger space like a school hall or gym although they can sometimes work in two closely situated classrooms.

Pupils learning how to make a Shield Wall - Part of an in school Viking activity day by Lore and Saga. - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.
Children making a clay oil lamp on a Viking activity day run in school by Lore and Saga. - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.

Activity days are our most  popular sessions and they include costume for the children and a  round-robin session of four Viking related crafts and activities in the  afternoon.

All craft materials are provided and included in the booking price.

If time allows the day can be rounded off with a saga telling or open questions from the children.

My intention is to use every minute you can give me to give your children one of the best days they will ever have in school.

After two decades of providing  these sessions for schools, some of the pupils I worked with when I  started, are now booking me to teach the children in their own  classrooms.

I believe that speaks volumes.


This child is really enjoying his Viking day in school. - Image copyrighted  Gary Waidson. All rights reserved.