Continuing with my theme of History Activities Week in the final week of term, my year 8s did jousting on Thursday morning.

Our final year 8 unit is a chronological one, Entertainment Through Time. This usually involves watching portions of A Knight’s Tale for the jousting scenes, and to show the class barriers in medieval society. With only one lesson left after watching said scenes, I decided we would do a bit of re-enacting.

My first idea was to create tableaux and annotate them, this being one of my favourite things to do, but then I remembered I had some pipe lagging and it seemed foolish not to use it…

Each team had four members: a jouster, a horse, a jester and an armourer. They were provided with tinfoil and rubber bands with which to make armour, with the brief that they had to cover their bodies from waist to neck. There was an ulterior motive for this.

They didn’t do a bad job –

The rules of the joust were simple. One hit between waits and neck – 1 point. Hit to the head – 2 points. Unhorse the opponent – 3 points. I had to think of a way to measure the hits, which is when I came up with the poorly-conceived notion of dipping the pipe lagging in nutella so that we could see where the hits occurred.

Now, theoretically this would have been fine, since their clothes were mostly covered and we were going outside. I implemented a 1 point deducation for getting chocolate spread on the horses. But then it started to pour with rain, so we had to move the venue inside.

The first attempt was quite good.

As the jousts continued (inside the History mobile) I realised that (a) the armour was falling off, (b) I had been a bit generous with the chocolate spread and (c) they were not jousting, so much as battering each other with the lagging.

Which is how we ended up with this –

Afterwards, I had to spend considerable time with wet wipes, removing Nutella from the walls, posters, my dress, my hair, the ceiling and the windows, and then ring a parent to apologise.

Sometimes, I think the mark of a good lesson is having to ring a parent to apologise.

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