Local History

Local history provides rich opportunities to engage children in their immediate local area and understand their own history and how history contributes to a greater overall understanding and bigger picture. In this section you will find articles, guides, and resources to enable you to make local history meaningful.

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  • How to make a toy museum

    Article

    Making a museum in your setting or classroom is easy and children can learn all kinds of historical skills as well as developing their mark making and writing. Tees Valley Museums are a consortium of seven venues across the Tees Valley. Together they have created online support to develop a museum...

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  • Teaching local history through a family

    Article

    The aim of this article is to teach local history through the prism of a local family. History is primarily about people. Using a family who lived in the locality over a large number of years, especially if they impacted considerably on that locality, can help develop an understanding of...

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  • Using museum and heritage sites to promote higher-level learning at KS2

    Article

    The Key Stage 2 Primary History Curriculum sets ambitious challenges for pupils: "…They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge...

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  • How significant is the tragic story of the SS Mendi?

    Article

    Historical anniversaries and events are often in the news, commemorated locally and nationally. I have found that getting the children involved in topics relating to these can really help them feel the importance of their learning, help them to appreciate the past and feel a sense of responsibility – a...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Bournville

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 One of my favourite places is Bournville Village in the south of Birmingham – every time I go there it feels as if I am entering a different world, away from the noise and bustle of the city. Less than five minutes' walk away from the tourist attraction of...

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  • Home Front Legacy 1914-18

    Article

    Home Front Legacy 1914-18 is your opportunity to research, discover and record the remains of the First World War Home Front in the United Kingdom. This partnership project, co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology with support and funding from Historic England, is open to everyone. You don’t need any...

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  • ‘Not again!’ - an additional viewpoint on using railways

    Article

    ‘Not again!’ I can remember my son muttering as his football thudded against the kitchen wall, ‘I went there in Year 2 and then in Year 4 and now I have to go there again in Year 6.’ He was referring to his school trips to the remains of the gunpowder factories in our village,...

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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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  • Your Local Railway: a local history investigation in Key Stage 2

    Article

    In this article Tim Lomas discusses one of the best resourced themes you can find: your local railway. Railways make one of the best themes for a historical study. No place has ever been far from a railway station even if Dr Beeching wiped out one-third of the network in...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Mount Fitchet Castle

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson explores Mount Fitchet Castle in Essex – one of his favourite history places. As every schoolchild knows, William the Conqueror landed near Hastings in 1066, pursuing his claim to the throne of England. He was accompanied by the pope’s blessing, but also by an army of adventurers who...

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  • Learning Outside the Classroom

    Article

    In recent times, it is easy to recognize that there has been a general move towards promoting outside activities across all manner of organizations and groups. For instance, organisations such as The National Trust and Ordnance Survey are keen to promote outdoor experiences in their literature. An online presence advocates...

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  • Local history and a sense of identity

    Article

    The history co-ordinator often finds some real challenges as well as opportunities in addressing local history in primary schools. The advantages are well rehearsed – making history relevant to the lives of the children and giving them an improved sense of identity and place through engagement with the ‘real thing’....

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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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  • Using original sources

    Article

    Why would I want those old books in my classroom? 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...

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  • What makes good local history?

    Article

    Everywhere has a past and learning how to capitalise on that for primary history can be both rewarding and challenging. Not only are aspects of the local area's history a requirement in their own right at both key stages, but these aspects can also help to tell the national story,...

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  • What your local Archive Service can offer to schools

    Article

    Imagine a place where your pupils become detectives working on mysteries from the past such as the tale of Thomas Sargeant, a 15-year-old factory worker who died in a chemical works in 1898. Your local archive is bursting with stories about real people like this which can give children an...

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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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  • 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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  • Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom of England

    Article

    The Vikings will be familiar territory to many primary teachers. For many, therefore, this section of the history curriculum should cause fewer headaches than others. This does not mean, however, that it is all straightforward. This article contains a number of elements that teachers might welcome including a timeline of...

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  • Using the back cover image: Sandbach Crosses - an Anglo-Saxon market cross

    Article

    This image is a reconstruction, or interpretation, by Peter Dunn, an artist, of what Sandbach Crosses might have looked like in the ninth century. They are one of the few remaining Anglo-Saxon stone crosses in the country. They stand in the market place in Sandbach, Cheshire. You can find a...

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