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Roman Army
Segedunum Fort and Museum, Wallsend. Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

KS2 History
National Curriculum: History. The Roman Empire and its impact upon Britain, non-statutory examples include Hadrian’s Wall.

Learning Objectives
Pupils will use a variety of sources to develop a knowledge base about the Roman Cavalry. They will evaluate similarities and differences between the experience of a cavalryman in the Roman Army and in the modern British Army.

Suggested Classroom Activity

Show the pupils the film “What Is Segedunum?”.

Ask them what they think a roman cavalry soldier’s training might have been like.

Check they noticed the minimum height requirement for roman cavalryman.



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Household Cavalry Soldier.

Show them the above page from the army website and tell them their task will be to create an equivalent document for the Roman Cavalry.

It will be a piece of persuasive writing aimed at encouraging recruitment.

They can either use some of the same headings from the webpage; combat, qualifications, training, move up the ranks etc. or create their own framework.

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Pupils can find information from the Handbook of Army Tactics sheet which can be downloaded here, as well as from other internet research.
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They can incorporate the pictures from the images sheet, available to download here, in their final document.
Development Activity

1. An important element of the cavalry’s duties was to act as messengers. There is evidence to show that the cavalry soldiers worshipped Mercury, the Messenger.
The other resources on the Roman Lead Shrine page on Culture Street.

2. W.H.Auden’s poem ‘Roman Wall Blues’ gives a witty insight into an ordinary soldier’s life on the wall. It is written in rhyming couplets, the same pattern used in rap / hip-hop. Pupils can be tasked with writing additional or alternative couplets with a specifically cavalry soldier perspective. Link to Auden poem.

Resources, Notes and Links

Film: . What is Segedunum

Download the Handbook of Army Tactics pdf

Download lesson plan here

Download the Images sheet