The Victorians

A popular unit of study in Key Stage 2 has in the past been the Victorians. It is possible to continue to study the Victorians through either a local study or through a unit of study beyond 1066, although the emphasis now shifts to the Victorians representing a turning point. Given that so much reform and industrial change took place during this period, turning points are not difficult to find. In this section, you will find articles and resources to help you to plan to teach the Victorian period as a turning point. 

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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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  • Scheme of work: George Stephenson and the development of railways

    Article

    This unit of work is intended to teach children about George Stephenson as a significant individual in history, his achievements and the impact that he had locally, nationally and internationally. It also includes some introductory lessons based around vocabulary for consolidation of terms relating to the passing of time, which...

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  • ‘Come all ye fisher lassies’

    Article

    When considering either ‘changes within living memory’ for Key Stage 1 or ‘an aspect or theme to develop children’s chronological understanding post 1066’ for Key Stage 2 it is important to focus on a clear observable change. This enables children to draw effective comparisons with their own experiences. Washday, bread...

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  • Using different sources to bring a topic to life: The Rebecca Riots

    Article

    For primary school pupils a key aim of the National Curriculum for history is to understand the method of historical enquiry. Working with original sources is of course central to the whole process and provides a great way to inspire pupils’ experience of the subject. Young pupils, once they have...

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  • Happy 200th birthday Florence Nightingale!

    Article

    2020 is undoubtedly going to be an important year in the nursing world and is a significant historical anniversary. The World Health Organisation has declared it the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ in part because Florence Nightingale, the famous ‘Lady with the Lamp’, will be celebrating her 200th birthday...

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  • Making the most of a census

    Article

    This article looks at how children can utilise and manipulate mathematical data to make sense of a historic past. The focus is on helping children see the numbers as a resource for understanding the experiences of those that lived in this place. Aim: Understand historical concepts such as continuity and...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Meldon Viaduct

    Article

    'One of my favourite history places' is a regular feature in Primary History – see all favourite history places here. In this edition, Tim Lomas explores Meldon Viaduct and its surroundings: Visiting places you have read about or seen pictures of can sometimes prove an anticlimax. Others far exceed expectations. One such is...

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  • Riding along on my pushbike… exploring transport in EYFS

    Article

    There is a myriad of opportunities for exploring the history of travel and transport in Early Years. You could focus on the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon flight in the late eighteenth century, the invention of steam trains and motor cars in the nineteenth century, or even the space race...

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  • Three first-class ladies – teaching significant individuals in Key Stage 1

    Article

    The turn of the 20th century was in many ways a golden age of aviation. In 1903 the Wright brothers conquered heavier-than-air flight. From that time onward there were many other visionaries who wanted to be part of the dream of flying. The topic of early aviation history is an...

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  • Resources for courses: ideas for your history curriculum

    Article

    In times of tight budgets and with the new financial year on the horizon in April, now might be a good time to look at different ways to resource your history curriculum effectively. Alongside all the resources for teachers available from Primary History and the HA website, the following list...

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  • How can old advertisements be used in the primary classroom?

    Article

    Advertising is a central part of our everyday lives. There are few ways to escape it and it has a long pedigree. It has long been recognised that it can help sell products through the power of the punch line or the visual image. Trade cards appeared as early as...

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  • Women in parliament since 1918

    Article

    At the 1918 election just one woman, Constance Markievicz, won a seat, in Dublin, for Sinn Fein. She was in prison at the time. At the time, of course, the whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. All 73 Sinn Fein MPs refused to take up their seats, and...

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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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  • 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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  • Using the back cover image: Moustache cup

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 The moustache cup I purchased on ebay is one of the most popular artefacts I use with students in a good game of ‘guess the object’. It has a wonderful quality of being at the same time familiar yet strange. Despite telling the students not to...

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  • One of my favourite history places: Saltaire

    Article

    Saltaire is my favourite place and one I never tire of visiting as each time a new discovery may be made. As you walk down the uneven cobbles of the narrow streets, even with the trappings of the twenty-first century (especially cars) in evidence, you cannot help but feel that...

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  • Using the back cover image: Exploring the collections of Victorian naturalists

    Article

    Many museums around the country house natural history collections that offer children the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of species from around the world. Using the collections of Victorian explorers and naturalists offers children a historical perspective with a cross-curricular approach which has a great appeal. Yet for...

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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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  • Significant Individuals: Charles Darwin

    Article

    Charles Darwin: exploring the man behind the beard – studying the lives of significant individuals in the past Studying the life of Charles Darwin is an exciting way to meet the requirement in Key Stage 1 to teach significant individuals. But what do we actually know about him, beyond the...

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  • Scheme of Work: Thematic study - Education

    Article

    Children can be introduced to the idea that educating children has a long history with many changes over time, sometimes with turning points and significant developments. This unit examines some ideas about change, e.g. the pace and nature of change, the impact of change and continuity. It draws upon content...

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