KS2 Music: The Anglo-Saxons. 1: The Anglo-Saxons arrive

The series begins with an introduction to the Anglo-Saxons - who they were and where they came from - and the first song: 'We are Anglo-Saxons!'

Tutorial: learn the song 'We are Anglo-Saxons'

Tutorial: 'We are Anglo-Saxons!'

Tutorial activities include:

  • Identifying and clapping along to the steady, marching beat at the beginning of the song.
  • Identifying the steady word rhythms in Verse 1, then the faster word rhythms.
  • Understanding how the notes jump from low to high at the end of each verse, running into the chorus.
  • Listening for the notes getting higher in pitch at the end of the chorus.
  • Dividing into two groups, to sing Verse 3; the tutorial suggests boys and girls due to the traditional roles at the time, but you can divide this however works best for your group.
  • Recognising the repeated melodic patterns in Verse 4.

Song: 'We are Anglo-Saxons!'

Song: 'We are Anglo-Saxons!' (Vocal)

The first song is an introduction to the Anglo-Saxons and their way of life. Some key elements of the song are:

  • Pulse: a steady marching beat.
  • Rhythm: alternating between fast and slow rhythms.
  • Pitch: musical 'jumps' from high to low.
  • Singing in two parts: have the singers split into two groups to sing the lines for 'boys' and 'girls'.
  • Melody: repetition of musical patterns.

Click here for the lyric sheet (pdf).

Song: 'We are Anglo-Saxons!' (Children's choir)

Song: 'We are Anglo-Saxons!' (Backing track)

You can also choose to sing with the Children's choir version of the song - good for encouraging your group to join in.

Once you have learnt the song you can polish your performance by singing with just the Backing track version.

Drama: The Anglo-Saxons arrive

Drama: The Anglo-Saxons arrive


1600 years ago. A beach on the east coast of England. A child and her father watch as ships appear on the horizon. Anglo-Saxons are arriving in England.

The first Anglo-Saxons arrived as raiders, taking away with them whatever precious articles they could plunder. But later they brought their families and settled the fertile land.

Two hundred years later and the Anglo-Saxons now rule the land. A thane returns to his home where his wife quizzes him about the recent 'witan' - a meeting of Anglo-Saxon leaders. The thane reveals that he must shortly leave to fight for the king. Everything they possess is dependent on royal patronage, so he must do as the king commands.

Later, new ships appear on the horizon - new raiders from the north. The Vikings.

Click here to download / print the episode transcript (pdf).

Music activity

Focus: Pulse - fast and slow / Singing in two parts / Singing a round

Pulse: Nigel, the presenter, claps a slow beat, followed by a faster beat and pupils copy. Pupils then move slowly, then quickly, in time to the beat, using rowing movements - reaching forward and pulling back, as though they are rowing an Anglo-Saxon ship.

Singing a round. Pupils divide into two groups. Group A sings Verse 4 first, then Group B joins in.

  • Discuss how a steady beat, or pulse usually runs through a piece of music. It is rather like a heartbeat and helps everyone who is singing or playing to stay in time. Encourage pupils to follow the beat carefully and to clap along with it.
  • Tell pupils that a round is a piece of music, when everyone sings the same thing - but at a slightly different time to each other. One group goes first, then the next follows, a little later.
  • Choose another verse from the song to sing as a round.

Full details of the activity in the Teacher's Notes

Listening music

Listening music: Mozart - Horn Concerto

Mozart: Horn Concerto

  • This famous piece of music is a horn concerto. A concerto is a piece of music written for a musician who plays solo accompanied by an orchestra.
  • The horn is made out of brass and it belongs to the brass family of the orchestra. It has keys - special metal pads which cover the holes of the instrument. When you press your fingers on the keys you change the notes that the horn plays.
  • Musical horns also existed in Anglo-Saxon times. They were made out wood, or out of a real animal’s horn - usually that of an ox or goat.
  • What do you think the horn was used for? It could be played loudly for use in battle, or as a signal. It could also be played quietly, with an instrument such as the lyre (or small harp).

You could also share this YouTube link. Watch from the entry of the horn at 00 54 to 02 10. This is an external link. The BBC is not responsible for the content.


Teacher's Notes