Beyond compare a study of Beatrix Potter and Benjamin Zephaniah

Primary History article

By Sue Temple, published 14th April 2016

The Key Stage 1 National Curriculum encourages teachers to teach their pupils about ‘the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.’ (DfE, 2014, p. 205). Some teachers have begun to move away from the old favourite subject of Florence Nightingale and as this year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter I would like to suggest giving her some consideration for a change. The National Curriculum goes further though: ‘Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods’, so for this piece of work I’m asking you to consider a rather more unusual pairing. To compare with Beatrix Potter, I suggest exploring the life of Benjamin Zephaniah.

Further more unusual comparisons can be found on this issue’s poster. Most of us will be familiar with the stories of Beatrix Potter – Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs Twiggywinkle. Potter can be seen as a ‘significant’ person as a children’s author alone but an exploration of her life could be the basis of a really interesting project for young children. It is not difficult to think of a significant person to study independently – it can be more problematic to find a suitable comparison. For younger children we want to be able to draw out both the similarities and differences of the two chosen people and so care needs to be taken in deciding. I hope you will agree that Benjamin Zephaniah makes an interesting contrast...

This resource is FREE for Primary HA Members.

Non HA Members can get instant access for £2.49

Add to Basket Join the HA