katherine kerr of the Hermitage, her site

Page School

[Page School Classes] [Page School Activities] [My Good Page]

As my children, and others within our Barony, grew older, it seemed a good idea to harness their energy into Useful Things. Baroness Chrettienne suggested we run a page school at Canterbury Faire in AS37 and now it looks to have become an institution.

The general approach has been to run classes (formal and informal), fighters' practices, a boffer tourney, arts and sciences and entertainments for all younglings over the 3-4 days of Canterbury Faire. Adding courtesy and service requirements is a great way to ensure some help for frazzled adults!

I've produced a booklet each time (16 pages; quarto A4) which has covered the nature of the activities and expectations. The booklets tell the pages what was planned/expected, and provides a record of what they achieved (good to show a teacher if they take time off school to attend the Faire!). We asked them to complete as many activities as possible, with each activity signed off.

Following the first highly successful page school, Baroness Chrettienne awarded the participants a token and certificate; the second year saw those "graduates" receive a Senior Page token. In the second year, Baron Sigurd provided a chain mail coif and helm to be held for one year by the top page - this award was split in AS38 between Dickon (who got the coif) and Lady Rosita (who received the helm). In addition, Dickon and Peregrin were appointed as Mouse Guard to the court of Their Majesties AEdward and Yolande.

Senior Pages
Photo: Edward

Mouse Guards
Photo: Edward

Page School Classes

We've run a variety of classes, some of which were created specially for the children, some were open arts and sciences classes.

  • Courtesy in the SCA
  • Chivalry on the Field
  • Banner Making
  • Serving at Feasts
  • Banner Painting
  • Bardic Skills
  • Making Bread Rolls
  • Boffer Tourney
  • Ring Making
  • Chain Mail

Others we'd like to run:

  • Tablet Weaving
  • Finger Braiding

Any ideas? Tell me!

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Page School Activities

We've tried varying the activities year to year while ensuring that some of the important ones get repeated (such as Courtesy and Service activities!). The material below represents the sorts of things we've suggested that the pages undertake, though it was left up to them how many they completed and of what nature.

Dickon's page school book

Page School Booklet Cover
Design a cover for your Page School booklet to identify it as yours. To do this, you could:
design a monogram using your initials
draw a coat of arms or badge
learn to write your name in a period style

Courtesy and Service in the SCA
Courteous behaviour and willing service play an important part in the SCA. Put what you have learned into practice by demonstrating courtesy and a willingness to serve. Here are some ways you can do this:
Attend the class on courtesy for children
Offer assistance to a gentle at the Faire
Help clean feast gear after a meal
Serve at the feast
Help the Mangy Mongol by washing cups, bringing water, tidying up or serving
Read or tell a story to the younger children
Assist at the gate
Carry a message across the encampment
Serve on Baroness Chrettienne's assistance roster

Arts and Sciences
Attend one of the arts and sciences classes
Use the resources in the page chest to make or decorate an item (eg pouch, feast bag)
Learn or teach a period game (eg chess, backgammon, hnatafl, tierce)
Research a topic of interest (eg find out about something and discuss it with an adult who knows about it)

Attend the Field Heraldry session
Attend the Court Heraldry session
Blazon a device
Be a runner for a herald or peer
Help the lists officer
Play heraldic twister

For you, or another gentle, note down:
What is your name?
Where and when are you from?
List three important events during that period

Bardic Arts
Attend the bardic arts class
Demonstrate your bardic arts at the market, feast or other public gathering where at least four adults are present
Sing a song
Recite a poem
Learn or demonstrate a dance
Play an instrumental piece

Tourney Skills
Participate in the Boffer Tourney
Give a favour to a fighter
Bring water to the fighters between bouts
Act as herald or lists runner
Be a hound in the Royal Boar Hunt
Be a smuggler or customs agent in the night game
Help a fighter carry their armour to the tourney field/battle ground
Help glean for arrows during target archery or mixed combat
Help the lists officer, as a water bearer or results runner

Painting the Royal Tablecloth
Photo: Edward

The Royal Cloth
Her Majesty Yolande will present the pages with a cloth, for it to be decorated for use at the Royal Table at the Saturday Feast. There will be fabric paint and other materials in the marquee all Saturday morning for pages to complete this in time.

The SCA recognises people who excel in fighting (Knights), learning (Laurels) and service (Pelicans).
Find out what makes up a Knight's regalia - the things they wear which identifies them as a Knight.
Ask at least three Laurels what they got their Laurel for
A Pelican is used to represent service to the SCA. Why is a Pelican used as a symbol for this?
Ask a court member about their job
Help the court members prepare for closing court

Page Side-Show Alley
Pages are asked to help with the Page Side-Show Alley at the Market to raise funds to support the page school activities. The side-shows include a crowned heads of Europe coconut shy, archery clout shoot, horsehow toss and others. You can help by encouraging people to play, taking their money, giving them prize tokens, fetching balls or arrows.

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My Good Page

The following poem was written by Baron Callum Mcleod, for the edification of the pages of Southron Gaard (AS38). Callum notes that was written in the style of How the Good Wife Taught Her Daughter, ca 1475 from The Babee's Book, ed. by Rickert.

On the Education of a Page

When thou standest in the court to the Heralds statements hark,
Tease not the Baroness' dog nor cause the pup to bark.
Attend upon Her Excellency for she may have a task
For you or others to perform, be ready should she ask.
Let your responsibility
Match your maturity,
My good Page.

When thou movest round the hall make not too much haste.
If you would play and sport find a suitable place.
Remove your footwear if there's need, be sure you do not track
Leaves or mud into the hall on your feet or on your back.
Always take care lest
You be thought a poor guest,
My good Page.

Hide not Sir Vitali's hat unless he says you may
The headgear of the chivalry are not toys for play.
Likewise give the Baron frequent chance for rest.
He needs a break if he's to sport with you with all his zest.
Always taking care
To treat your playmates fair,
My good Page.

Be sure to spend some time to contribute to the day.
Give the cook or steward a bit of help between your play.
They have wisdom to impart if you'll but go and ask.
You'll find you may learn from them as you help them with the task.
When we are all prepared
To help, joy too is shared,
My good Page.

Dickon and I worked together to provide the following response, and he recited the combined piece before Queen Morwenna and King Cornelius, when they visited as part of the change of Kingdom tour.

When thou art planning an event, include us in your sport,
And treat us with due courtesy, we mirror what we're taught.
Give us tasks we can perform, rememb'ring our young age
And we will do our best for you to grow as your good page.
May all gentles be aware
The Dream's for all to share,
My good Lord.

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