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

Primary Scheme of Work, Key Stage 1 History, Changes Within Living Memory

By Karin Doull, published 15th October 2020

The story of our High Street

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 this activity have been transformed over the last fifty or so years. The advent of refrigeration and computerisation have revolutionised what and how we shop.

This is a fruitful topic to explore with children as it provides them with a chance to explore changes to an activity that most of them are very familiar with. In addition they are able to undertake family interviews allowing a strong home school link to be capitalised on. In addition this provides the opportunity to move from the past to the present so from a history-based enquiry into a geography one. What we buy and how we go about our shopping habits tells us about the sort of people we are and reflects the changing nature of our place.

This unit is structured around a history enquiry theme of comparison between then and now with a focus on local history using a range of resources.

How has my High Street changed since the 1950s?

  1. What was the High Street like before?
  2. How has the High Street changed?
  3. What was in these shops before?
  4. What was it like to shop for food?
  5. How were my goods packaged or stored?
  6. How did I pay for my purchases?

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