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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  • A creative Egyptian project

    Article

    IntroductionIdeally when teaching history, teachers will look to deliver projects that will engage and motivate, hopefully making the hard work of being creative stimulating and rewarding, based upon questioning, enquiry, investigation of sources and reaching conclusions grounded in the evidence.Ancient Egypt is one of those history topics which, because it...

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  • A history of the world - 100 objects that tell a story

    Article

    Editorial comment: A History of the World is the most creative, imaginative and dynamic development in primary History Education for thirty years. It ties in perfectly with and supports the government's re-vitalisation of primary education that the independent Cambridge Primary  Review and the Rose Review of the Primary Curriculum should...

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  • A trail of garnet and gold: Sri Lanka to Anglo-Saxon England

    Article

    Sri Lankan garnet in Anglo-Saxon graves?  In 2009 news broke of a fabulous hoard of gold and garnet military ornaments unearthed in a Staffordshire field. TV reports mentioned the garnet might have come from Sri Lanka or India, but how could it have got here? I began reading up what used to be called ‘The Dark...

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  • After the sirens sounded: Event Framing and Counterfactuals at Key Stage 2

    Article

    The ‘imagined’ past presents as many problems for historians as it does for the teachers of history - how much of the past can we truly know? To what degree is the historiological process an exercise in the historical imagination? How much of the past have we licence to imagine?...

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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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  • 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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  • Assessment and Progression without levels

    Article

    The new Primary History National Curriculum is finally upon us. The first thing you might notice is that the level descriptions have gone. These were first introduced in 1995 and became the mainstay for assessing pupil progression and attainment in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 across schools in England....

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  • Bringing the Civil War to life in Somerset

    Article

    As a lecturer in education teaching humanities at Plymouth University, I spend my time encouraging student teachers to move away from writing lesson plans with a focus on research and recording, to creating lessons that are dynamic – engaging children in historical activities to develop a passion for history. Student...

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  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots

    Article

    Briefing Anglo-Saxons have been a part of the primary national curriculum from the onset so they may not be as unfamiliar to teachers as some themes. Many teachers also report that pupils enjoy studying them so there is clearly much in their favour. That does not mean, however, that all...

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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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  • Children's thinking in archaeology

    Article

    Introduction:Young children enjoy prehistory Tactile, Physical and Enactive engagement with archaeological remains stimulates, excites and promotes children's logical, imaginative, creative and deductive thinking. Through archaeology there are infinite opportunities for ‘reasonable guesses' about sources and what they tell us about their owners. Sites where Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron...

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  • Chronology & Topics at Key Stage 2

    Article

    The nearly complete history of almost everythingIntroduction

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  • Cross Curricular Project on a famous person

    Article

    IntroductionIf you are considering studying someone other than Florence Nightingale you have two basic options. You can either choose a local character who would be more relevant to the children, or you could study someone who you think would be an inspiration to your children. We wanted to fulfil the...

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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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  • Early Islamic civilisation

    Article

    The Primary National Curriculum pinpoints Early Islamic Civilisation as Baghdad c. AD 900 - yet it was so much more. For approximately a thousand years after AD 700 there was an extraordinary amount of activity that radiated out from Baghdad and along a glittering crescent through North Africa and into...

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  • Enhancing temporal cognition

    Article

    Practical activities for the primary classroom

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  • Eweka's story: Benin, Big Picture History

    Article

    Eweka's story: Benin, Big Picture History and the National Curriculum for History 2014 The prospect of teaching Benin as a non-European Study within the time frame 900-1300 AD is challenging! Traditional oral evidence  suggests that the critical event during this period in Benin's past was a transition from the Ogiso...

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  • For whose God, King and country? Seeing the First World War through South Asian eyes

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 In October 1914 France faced defeat on what would later become the Western Front. If the Germans captured the channel ports then the small British Expeditionary Force (BEF) supporting the French would be cut off from Britain, and the channel ports themselves might be used to launch...

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  • From Champion to Hero: Engaging Pupils in a study of significant Olympians

    Article

    IntroductionAllocated the task of researching and presenting ideas for teaching about significant Olympians, I thought: ‘Brilliant, this is the easy one'. How wrong can one be! I expected to be able to access a plethora of child-friendly resources devoted to my Olympic heroes like Mary Peters, Seb Coe and Steve...

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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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