Local Study

The importance of local history for developing a sense of place and identity is emphasised by the National Curriculum. The local landscape and buildings can often reveal a great deal about the use of land and the type of people who lived there in the past. Buildings and landscape can reveal how long a heritage the place has had. Monuments and local heritage or parish records can highlight individual local heroes or provide a window into the lives of ordinary local people in times gone by. How similar or different were their lives? Often, the local picture can also help to reveal the national or international picture.

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  • What’s in a road? Local history at Early Years and Key Stage 1

    Article

    One of the many amazing things about History is that it can be found in everything; even the smallest or most mundane objects can provide an insight into how life has changed or provide a greater understanding of a different period in time. Late October last year as the light...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

    Article

    When I was born my family lived in Kirkstall close to the Abbey and Abbey House Museum. We moved to Ireland Wood not long after this photograph was taken (I am the small one in the middle) but if we ever had a day out in the city we would...

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  • How can we make effective use of the census in the primary history classroom?

    Article

    If there is a list of sources that teachers are likely to be familiar with, it is almost certain that the census will be included. In part this is because this is something that we all participate directly in anyway so it has a personal resonance. It can hold a...

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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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  • Exploring the Rollright Stones as part of your Stone Age to Iron Age study

    Article

    Those teaching the Stone Age to Iron Age will be aware that the range of sources can be seen as rather narrow largely because of the absence of written records. It often means resorting to artefacts and monuments. This article explores one stone site and how it can be used as...

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  • Exploring empire, artefacts and local history

    Article

    This article introduces us to the Colonial Countryside Project. Many of the sites we visit, especially the great country houses and stately homes, have long been visited by children. They are often fascinated by both the buildings and the history associated with them. However, there is a growing recognition that...

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  • Using trade directories: reconstructing life 100 years ago

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson has previously covered the importance of trade directories as a source that teachers can use in primary history.  Alf develops this into a case study for a Lincolnshire village that can be used as a template for primary teachers.  All communities have distinctive characteristics and Alf outlines these...

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  • One of my favourite history places: the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum

    Article

    This certainly represents one of the more unusual in the ‘My favourite place’ series: a hospital for the mentally ill for the poorer sections of society. Buildings such as this, however, were often imposing structures with fine architecture and an important history. With a growing recognition of the importance of...

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  • Census 2021: using the census in the history classroom

    Article

    As we approach the next census in March 2021, we are reminded of what a rich historical source the census is. For historians, using the census can shine a light on particular people and places – a snapshot in time. Big stories can be told through a sharp local lens...

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  • Take one day: undertaking an in-depth local enquiry

    Article

    Local history units of study provide teachers with valuable opportunities, but these can also seem daunting. Potential challenges for teachers include the perceived overwhelming scope of the topic, difficulties in developing subject knowledge and knowing where to find resources. However, none of these is insurmountable, if teachers identify a clear...

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  • Belmont’s evacuee children: a local history project

    Article

    Teaching about World War II, particularly the home front, continues to be popular in primary schools, despite the government deciding not to include it as a compulsory subject in the new National Curriculum introduced in 2014. Many primary schools still choose to organise an evacuee experience of some kind for pupils...

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  • All the fun of the fair! Key Stage 1 – Beyond living memory

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson outlines three activities looking at fairs past and present. We all enjoy a visit to the fair, don’t we? There’s always a bit of a buzz when the fair comes to town. In my village it arrives just in time for Feast Weekend, in the summer holidays. The rides...

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  • Scheme of work: Local history – the story of our High Street

    Article

    Teaching a unit that considers ‘changes within living times’ requires a focus that provides clear evidence of those changes. Children need to be able to identify specific differences as well as recognise relevant similarities. While we all still undertake shopping on a daily or weekly basis the processes involved in...

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  • Local significant individuals

    Multipage Article

    The National Curriculum specifies a local study both at Key Stages 1 and 2. Basing your local study around an individual is a great way to bring the heritage of your locality to life. Many of these individuals are part of larger national events and changes and seeing these changes at...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Conwy

    Article

    The medieval walled town of Conwy, situated by the River Conwy and surrounded by the stunning and rugged Welsh countryside, is well deserving of its status as a World Heritage Site and is also my favourite history place. Approach the town from the east side and the first thing you...

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  • Insights from a year of leading the development of a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’

    Article

    Raynville Primary School serves a highly disadvantaged area of West Leeds and we work hard to provide our children with the best opportunities to learn and enjoy their time with us. One jewel in the crown of our school’s curriculum is children’s historical learning as part of a knowledge-rich curriculum....

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  • Using a house for your local history study

    Article

    A house can be an extremely effective focus for learning about the past, giving us insights into changes to domestic and social life.  We can explore how different inventions (e.g. electric lighting, washing machines, televisions) have changed the way we live, and we can look at some of the ways...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Glastonbury

    Article

    Glastonbury, whether as a fleeting glimpse across the Somerset Levels from the M5, or up close and personal, walking within the town, holds a power that goes some way towards explaining why it has been of interest to so many people across its history. There are certain places that seem...

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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 the back cover image: Lest We Forget

    Article

    Over the past four years the nation has been commemorating the centenary of the First World War. From soldiers, women, animals, technology and much more… we researched, filmed, documented and preserved. On 11 November, 100 years since the agreement to end hostilities, we commemorated the Armistice. But what can we...

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