Year 6 Roman Trip to Silchester

XIX June, MMXVII, Silchester. All is quiet. Until 40 intrepid Year 6 Elstree boys descend for a series of Roman activities and adventures. We gathered at the South Gate and began two concurrent sessions of ‘testudo marching’ – tortoise shell formation – and some town planning, sketching and modelling. The boys put together their best rugby faces and chess minds to form a tortoise of tackle pads and march past some angry Britons and escort the standard bearer to safety. Huge fun. Regarding the town itself, the boys asked great questions. ‘Surely town walls prevent the town expanding?’ ‘Why was the amphitheatre not inside the town?’

After a Roman toast for buns, we headed to the amphitheatre for a day at the games. We began with a wild beast fight – the bestiarius was mauled by the bear, lion and tiger. Our mock lunchtime saw executions of a murderer, arsonist and a huddle of Christians (by lion), and we climaxed with the gladiators. The secutor and retiarius faced off before seeking the crowd and governor’s verdict: thumbs up or thumbs down? Backing music and costumes really made our games. Back at Elstree we met a good old Roman feast, laden with figs, cheese and pomegranates, but without the chance to visit the vomitarium and eat again…sadly. All good fun.


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