History KS1/KS2: Hill forts

An animated introduction to Iron Age hill forts for primary pupils.

It describes the Iron Age population of Britain and how they lived in tribal communities.

It explores how and where these hill forts were built and which locations and methods were used to protect inhabitants from enemy attack.

The film also shows how the remains of some of these hill forts can still be seen in the United Kingdom today.

Teacher Notes

This short film is an ideal tool to help pupils to understand how and why Iron Age hill forts were built in Britain.

It can be used alongside maps of localities to explore where pupils think hill forts might have been built and why.

It can be used to discuss the process of building hill forts and to consider the lives of people living inside them.

Points for discussion:

  • What is a hill fort?
  • Who built these hill forts?
  • Why were hill forts built on hills? What advantage did this offer?
  • What evidence of hill forts remain in the United Kingdom today?

Suggested activities: After viewing the film, you could ask pupils to create their own case studies of hill forts and to annotate maps to show where these might have been built.

Working in groups, pupils could discuss why they think these locations were chosen and how they would have offered protection from enemies to people living inside them.

Pupils could carry out fieldwork to explore the shape of the land around hill forts and see if they can find evidence of the remains of hill forts in these locations.

Teachers and pupils could develop timelines of British history, indicating in which era hill forts were built and then explore what existed before and after hill forts as part of a historical study.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is relevant for teaching history at KS1 and KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 1st and 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from this series:

The digital revolution
Roman roads