Enquiries

A key cornerstone of history is historical enquiry. Quality history provision has historical enquiry at its heart. Through historical enquiry children can be shown how to ask questions, select and evaluate evidence and to make judgments about the past. It can also be a vital way of showing them that there is often more than one side to a story and that history is multi-perspective. Historical enquiry is all about asking questions or hypothesising  about the past that we hope the evidence will help us to answer, but getting the enquiry question right is not always easy. In this section you will find resources and guidance that will help you to plan challenging enquiries for your children that will help them to develop as historians.

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  • Studying the Maya

    Article

    Most pupils like history, but some struggle with aspects of reading and writing – how can we make history more accessible? This article explores some ways I have found useful in engaging pupils of all abilities. It will focus on activities that might be used in studying the Non-European Society...

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  • Anglo-Saxon Women

    Article

    The Anglo-Saxon era is a diverse period that stretches across just over 650 years. Those we call Anglo-Saxons were not homogenous nor were their experiences. In AD 410 the Roman legions leave and the first Anglo-Saxon raiders appear. These pagan warrior bands would come to terrorise Romano-British settlements until, inevitably,...

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  • Using the back cover image: Mummified cat

    Article

    For hundreds of years, travellers to Egypt have marvelled at the amazing monuments evident throughout the country. The treasures of Ancient Egypt became more fascinating after  the discovery of the Rosetta stone in 1799, which led to the deciphering of the hieroglyphic language. Many Victorian explorers returned to their European...

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  • What made Cleopatra so special?

    Article

    Ancient Egyptian civilisation is rich and mysterious with distinctive visual imagery and strange animal-headed gods. The exotic differences of the society have always intrigued the western imagination and so they continue to ensure that this is a popular unit with both teachers and children. There are plentiful resources with new...

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  • Celebrate your sporting heritage

    Article

    National Sporting Heritage Day takes place on 30 September every year. It aims to support schools and other community organisations to engage withtheir local sporting heritage, explore the heritage on their doorstep, celebrate and share the information that they find and inspire children and young people to find out more....

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  • Scheme of Work: The Georgians

    Article

    This unit focuses on the Georgian period across the mid to late 18th century. It is during this period that Britain (rather than England) begins to consolidate the gains made by Tudor and Stuart explorers and traders. The seeds of the British Empire of the Victorian period are planted at this...

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  • Scheme of Work: Thematic study - Education

    Article

    Children can be introduced to the idea that educating children has a long history with many changes over time, sometimes with turning points and significant developments. This unit examines some ideas about change, e.g. the pace and nature of change, the impact of change and continuity. It draws upon content...

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  • The Stone Age conundrum

    Article

    History – the very word makes the primary teacher in me feel excited. There are simply so many variables, so many dark nooks and crannies of history to explore and so many different angles through which to draw in a class of eager young minds. Thanks to a wellexecuted history...

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  • So was everyone an ancient Egyptian?

    Article

    I will be honest – no child has actually asked me if the world was ever full of Ancient Egyptians! Having said that, by focusing on one part of the world, children are left with either this impression or the idea that nothing was happening elsewhere in the world. Clearly,...

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  • Using original sources

    Article

    It has always been recognised that good primary history is able to connect the past with the world the children currently inhabit. That is why focusing on schools can be so useful. If there is one experience the children have definitely had, it is experiencing school life, so there are...

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  • Using Horrible History to develop primary literacy and history

    Article

    When I started planning for my Key Stage 2 literacy lessons last year, I wanted to link them to my history topic, the Tudors, and I also needed them to cover a significant amount of non-fiction English objectives, having focused on fiction and poetry texts in the previous term. One...

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  • Teaching history and geography together in a meaningful way

    Article

    This article explores some of the  ways history and geography can be taught side by side, so that the sum of the parts adds up to more than the original. How can we teach history with geography and vice  versa, to the benefit of both, while fulfilling the aims of...

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  • Our Iron Age challenge

    Article

    The University of Chichester’s three-year BA (Hons) Degree for Primary Education and Teaching involves learning how to provide rigorous and creative educational opportunities for children. The course involves one creativity module each year. The final one involves the development of skills and confidence in creating problem-solving. Four of us were...

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  • Resourcing primary history: How to avoid going for any old thing

    Article

    The recent survey of history teaching in primary schools conducted by the Historical Association revealed that the majority of respondents felt that they were short of resources to teach the revised National Curriculum. Not surprisingly most schools look to find resources that do the job cheaply. It is a truism...

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  • Searching for the Shang in Shropshire

    Article

    The introduction of the new primary curriculum in September 2014 presented a range of challenges for primary schools. Within the history orders for Key Stage 2 were new areas of study including prehistoric Britain as a compulsory study, and new optional study areas of early Islamic civilisation and Shang China....

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  • Poverty in Britain: A development study for Key Stage 2

    Article

    One of the requirements for Key Stage 2 history is for some history that extends beyond 1066. Various suggestions have been made including an examination of change within a social theme. The example given is Crime and Punishment but the opportunities for something interesting are vast. This article focuses on...

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  • Developing enjoyable historical investigations

    Article

    Enquiry: developing puzzling, enjoyable, effective historical investigations  About 2,000 years ago, a baby was born. No, not that baby. Not Jesus. This baby was a girl. Where she was born and what she was called we don't know but I'll call her Helena - it feels rude to go on just calling her ‘she'....

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  • Ancient Sumer

    Article

    For many teachers and children alike, Ancient Sumer will be completely new. Although Sumer has always been an option for teaching about Early Civilisations, the fame of Ancient Egypt, as well as being a tried-and-tested topic, has meant that Sumer has perhaps been overlooked. There is little danger of failing...

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  • Using cemeteries as a local history resource

    Article

    Why visit a cemetery as part of the history curriculum? Local studies now feature prominently in the primary history curriculum for both key stages. This development challenges teachers to find easilyaccessible, inexpensive and relevant resources on their doorstep. A rich resource which has traditionally been overlooked is the local churchyard...

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  • From Home to the Front: World War I

    Article

    Events which encapsulate family, community, national and global history provide rich opportunities for engaging children. Some of these draw on positive memories associated with past events: the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, how people responded to the first flight to the moon, the Millennium celebrations. Yet it is perhaps gruelling...

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