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Border Life - Key Stage 2

Old Gaol, Moothall, Border Reivers & Border Tales

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- Introduction
- Thinking Skills
- Mystery
- P4C
- Thinking for Learning
- Border Life KS2
- Border Life KS3
- Interactive Archie &   Mary Mystery
- Hexham House of   Correction
- Hexham Abbey
- Historic Dilston
- Wylam Railway



Suggestions for Use

Pupils gather information about England’s earliest gaol - prisoners - courts - conditions - escape - Border Reivers - raids - bastles and tower houses - surnames - everyday life.

KS2 History - Britain and the wider world in Tudor times

Investigate the cause and effect of ongoing border warfare between England and Scotland that resulted in a strong judicial presence and a purpose-built gaol in Hexham.
(Key elements 2a, 2b, 2c)

Research aspects of border society - homes, living conditions, law and order. Use the Scabby Sheep story as a stimulus.
Look at the level of treatment which different classes of reivers suffered in the gaol. Refer to the Tudor food activity.
Compare the differences between the architecture of the border strongholds and the more traditional black and white Tudor buildings seen further south in England.

The Ballad of the Fray of Hautwessel (Haltwhistle)

  • Read the ballad through to the class.
  • Hold a thought shower with them to try and discover the meaning of some of the unfamiliar words. Use the online Glossary to help.
  • Look on a modern map and find Haltwhistle in Tynedale, Northumberland and Liddlesdale in south west Scotland.
  • Discuss the geography of both areas. Think about the difficulties people had travelling then and contrast them with travelling the same areas today.

Extension activity: Interpret some lines or verses using the translation text and Glossary to help.

Warden Carey’s Report

  • Read the part of the report that corresponds to the Ballad to the class.
  • Look for differences and similarities there in the detail of the story.
  • Why do you think there are differences?
  • What reasons might the Warden have for changing the story?
  • Which version of the story is most likely to be reliable?
  • What does it tell you about Border life in those times?
  • Write a story about the Fray of Hautwessel (Haltwhistle). It could be a view from one of the Armstrongs, one of the captured English prisoners, or one of Warden Carey’s men.

Extension activity: Consider Sir Robert Carey’s Report with the class and think about the moral issues:

  • Is it ever right to steal?
  • Can you end generations of feuds peaceably?
  • Do people still have feuds today?

The Scabby Sheep Story - Prompt Questions
Think about the actions of the Robsons against the Grahams and hold a group discussion about the moral issues involved:

  • Right and wrong
  • Responsibility to others
  • The right to take revenge

Extension activity: Investigate the world news of today to find similar examples of the moral issues already discussed. (Use newspapers, radio, TV, internet.)

KS2 English


Prisoners - Work on contemporary extracts - Inventories -the Fray of Haltwhistle - Memoirs of Sir Robert Carey - story writing. Drama Thinking Skills Scabby Sheep Story.


KS2 Mathematics

Weights and measures.

KS2 Citizenship

Moral dilemma - is it ever right to steal?


Working through the interactive website - using website addresses to locate relevant information - using ICT as an integrated part of the lesson - adapting Word file resources to create their own work.

KS2 Art & Design

Period portraits - Make a model of a bastle and a tower house.

The Moothall is only open for school groups, which must be booked in advance.
Discovery Boxes - Pupils investigate original and replica artefacts with Thinking Skills Object Handling Sessions led by costumed museum staff. Schools in the north east can borrow Discovery Boxes free of charge for up to three weeks.
For more details contact Museum staff on 01434 652351

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