Teaching black British history through local archives

Primary History article

By Steven Kenyon, published 14th June 2023

The huge benefits that local archives can bring to primary history are explored by Steven Kenyon. He illustrates this with a case study of Lancashire Archives. The central focus is on ways in which local history can support diversity in the curriculum by providing three examples – one for Key Stage 1 and one each for lower and upper Key Stage 2.

Local history forms a significant part of the primary National Curriculum. Studying local history helps to make primary history relevant to the lives of children and gives them an improved sense of identity and place. Because of the bespoke nature of local history studies, there are rarely any off-the-shelf teaching materials available to provide usable ideas in the classroom. How, then, do we find the answers to our historically valid questions about the local area? What is the main story to tell that will enable children to understand why their locality is special? Was their local area home to a significant person or were important things built or made there? Did their local area play a unique role in British or global history? An early port of call for advice and guidance should be the local archives...

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