Living Memory

Studying events within living memory can help young children to gain an early understanding of chronology and that history is made all of the time. It also helps them to understand the world and their place within it. Through this Key Stage 1 unit of study, children are introduced to historical concepts, vocabulary and representations through exploring the ways in which life has changed over the time of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. This can be used to reveal aspects of national events or changes where possible. Popular areas for this topic include family, toys, holidays, the climate, technology, school, among many others.  In this section you will find articles and guidance to help you plan exciting and creative ways to introduce your children to the study of history.

Sort by: Date (Newest first) | Title A-Z
Show: All | Articles | Podcasts | Multipage Articles
  • World War I: widening relevance in the modern world

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 Hayyan Bhabha introduces a project that is using newly-discovered documents to show the contribution of Allied Muslim soldiers in the First World War, with the aim of developing empathy, mutual respect and religious understanding in young children of all ages. At a time of rising nationalism across the...

    Click to view
  • ‘So why did they go into hiding?’ Anne Frank in her historical and social context

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 All too often Anne Frank becomes a symbol, used to show ‘the triumph of hope over evil’, even though she was killed during the Holocaust. Sometimes she is quoted utterly out of context to provide uplifting sentiments, or short phrases with redemptive messages.  What this lesson sets out...

    Click to view
  • Primary History Summer Resource 2018

    Article

    We're delighted to publish this year's primary summer resource for members, bursting with practical ideas on how to incorporate the Second World War into your local history work. September 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, so what better time to start thinking about...

    Click to view
  • Here comes the ‘60s

    Article

    The 1960s were a decade of great change in Britain. The previous decade had seen America begin its gradual global cultural domination while Britain had to revise its role from imperial state to a member of the new Commonwealth of Nations. Recovery from the war had not been easy and...

    Click to view
  • What can you do with an old postcard?

    Article

    Whether looking at ‘events in living memory’ at Key Stage 1, or a local history study at Key Stage 2, old postcards are extremely useful. They are also relatively cheap and easy to get hold of. One aspect that can easily be explored using old postcards is evidence - they are an...

    Click to view
  • Food – a theme for learning about the past

    Article

    Food is a theme that can provide many opportunities for children to develop their understanding of the past. This is a popular theme in many Early Years settings and Reception classes. It can be planned at any time of year and can be adapted in many ways.

    Click to view
  • Women’s History Month: Female Voices

    Article

    March is Women’s History Month and as February 2018 also saw the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act that gave some women the vote, we at the HA know that you might be considering women’s history and possibly the story of female suffrage in school. We have produced...

    Click to view
  • EYFS Medium Term Plan - Toys and Games

    Article

    This EYFS Medium Term plan is based around the theme of Toys and Games. It is designed to give teachers and early years practitioners different starting points for learning about the past, across all areas of learning. The activities could be led with a whole class or as small group...

    Click to view
  • Is There a Place for The Holocaust in the Primary Curriculum?

    Article

    The Holocaust – the murder of approximately six million Jewish men, women and children by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during the Second World War – is possibly the most difficult event that any history teacher will ever have to teach. Most obviously, it can be deeply upsetting, for educators...

    Click to view
  • Learning about the past through a study of houses and homes

    Article

    A thematic study based on houses and homes is an excellent way to link learning about the past with something all children will be able to relate to – where they live. Planned carefully, it can provide a range of learning opportunities for both inside and outside the classroom. Let’s look outside Learning about houses...

    Click to view
  • ‘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,...

    Click to view
  • Ideas for Assemblies: Refugee stories

    Article

    An assembly could focus on the achievements of their lives, experiences as child refugees and migrants, and how they overcame their difficulties. Their stories can be compared and contrasted with other refugees, such as children from the Kindertransport and child refugees in Europe today. It is important that children understand the term ‘refugee’...

    Click to view
  • Learning about the past through ‘ourselves and our families’

    Article

    ‘Ourselves and our families’ is a popular theme in foundation settings and Reception classes. It is often undertaken at the beginning of the academic year, although it can be taught later when teachers have a better understanding of children’s home circumstances. This theme can provide many opportunities for children to...

    Click to view
  • The past through toys and games

    Article

    A learning theme centred on toys and games is perfect for younger children as the Early Years curriculum is, of course, all about learning through play. Planned carefully, it can also provide many opportunities for children to develop their understanding of the past. Adult-directed learning opportunities Provide the children with...

    Click to view
  • Planning for 'Changes within Living Memory'

    Article

    While changes to the Key Stage 1 subject content are not as extensive as Key Stage 2 it is necessary to be aware of the changing emphasis within the different themes. ‘Changes within Living Memory' has a couple of key issues to be aware of. First, ‘living memory' refers to...

    Click to view
  • Role play and the past

    Article

    The role-play area is often the most popular feature of a foundation stage classroom. For children, it's a source of great fun; for Early Years teachers, it is a wonderful way to develop pupils' language, communication and social development skills. An effective role-play area can also be instrumental in helping...

    Click to view
  • Using 'Development Matters' in the Foundation stage

    Article

    Using ‘Development Matters' to plan learning for history in the Foundation stageYou won't find the term history in the Early Years curriculum framework at all. That being so, it can be difficult to know how best to support our Nursery and Reception colleagues when developing historical understanding within the Foundation...

    Click to view
  • Chronology: Developing a coherent knowledge

    Article

    Chronology: Developing a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain's past and of the wider worldFirst, this article considers the reasons why it is essential for children to develop a chronological framework. Next it considers ways in which this framework is necessary for the development of the time concepts set out...

    Click to view
  • World War II evacuation project - A living history experience

    Article

    Editorial note: The WOW factor. When we first received and read the World War II Evacuation Project case study we simply went WOW! It was genuinely mind-blowing. Below we publish the main sections of the report. They bring to life an invaluable, ground-breaking case-study of national significance. The case-study involved...

    Click to view
  • Learning to engage with documents through role play

    Article

    IntroductionFirst let me say that I did not research the materials used or plan this lesson. For this I must acknowledge, with thanks, that this is the work of my colleague, Mike Huggins, and the senior assistant archivist in the Cumbrian Record office, Margaret Owen. However, I subsequently taught this...

    Click to view