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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • One of my favourite history places: Durham Cathedral

    Article

    The best thing about Durham Cathedral is how it impresses on every scale and from every viewpoint. As you approach the city by train, it looms over the skyline hugging the River Wear and even dwarfing its imposing neighbour, Durham Castle. When you finally make the steep walk up towards cathedral green, the building towers above...

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  • Using role-play to develop young children’s understanding of the past

    Article

    Unknown, interesting artefacts can really capture a child’s enthusiasm for learning. In the Foundation Stage, children want to use all their senses to explore and play with objects, and so the planning of practical, hands-on activities is important. The activities in this article were completed by Reception children in a...

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

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 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...

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  • Dora Thewlis: Mill girl activist

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 Dora Thewlis was born in 1890 in Yorkshire to a family of textile workers employed in the mills around the Huddersfield Canal. She followed her mother and elder siblings into the mill at the age of 10, earning around £1 a week. Dora’s family, and especially...

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  • 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...

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  • M&S brings over 130 years of archives into your classroom

    Article

    There is something really magical about making your own discoveries. Investigating something sparked by your own curiosity and using your own skills of observation and deduction to find out more is exciting. Human beings have always wanted to find out about our history and our place in the world –...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Fulham Palace

    Article

    In the south-west corner of London, nestled up against the Thames, lies Fulham Palace. This is a palace that was not for kings and queens but bishops, the princes of the church. This was the summer palace for the bishops of London which they retreated to when the heat and stench of the...

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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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