Teaching local history in primary schools: learning about effective practice

Primary History article

By Rachel Bruce and Susannah Russell, published 14th June 2023

Learning about effective practice from the HA / British Association for Local History Teacher Fellowship

Rachel Bruce and Susannah Russell were two of the six primary teachers on the recent Local History Teacher Fellowship. Here they outline the activities they were engaged in and how they produced two very different local history enquiries – one based in York and the other in Wrecclesham, Surrey. They ended producing teaching activities and resources that could easily be replicated in many other places. This article provides plenty of guidance on how to undertake motivating local history that helps fulfil valid history objectives.

The National Curriculum has always given some prominence to local history in schools. This is a feature of both Key Stages 1 and 2. Schools have had mixed feelings about it. While many have embraced it wholeheartedly, recognising its immediacy and relevance to the children and their families, others have confessed to being less confident. This is especially where teachers do not hail from the locality or where they have relied on resources to support their teaching. By its very nature local history does not attract the same interest among publishers who know they have a more captive market with subject-specific defined content areas...

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