Primary History 90: Out now

The primary education journal of the Historical Association

By Karin Doull, Kate Rigby (editors), published 25th March 2022

Editorial: Platinum Jubilee edition

Read Primary History 90

As head of state the Queen stands as our figurehead, a role she has held for seventy years. During that time much has changed. For most of us reading this journal we have known no other sovereign, never had a time when the Queen was not there. We should recognise the commitment and steadfast sense of duty that has motivated Her Majesty. The coming jubilee celebrations will allow children a chance to understand the role of the monarch, as head of state for all four nations of the United Kingdom. Alongside Britain stands the Commonwealth, an organisation of nation states, largely created by the Queen, with a shared history of both good and ill. Here too the Queen is the stable pivot.

The Queen is the patron of the Historical Association and has a deep recognition of the importance of history. In her broadcast of 2020, the Queen identified the positive value of national identity. ‘The pride in who we are is not part of our past,’ she said, ‘it defines our present and our future.’ We are continually having to re-evaluate and re-define this understanding of our place in the world and the role the Queen has played in this as our head of state. Jubilee celebrations allow us to become part of this wider whole and begin to shape new views of who we are.

The approaching Platinum Jubilee celebration is a moment for us to come together as a nation and as communities and individuals within that nation and beyond. The past two years has demonstrated how interrelated we all are. We have seen that we are part of local communities as well as a wider global whole. We are reliant on those around us for help in times of difficulty. At the height of the pandemic in her coronavirus broadcast the Queen alluded to this ‘fellow feeling’ which we have come to recognise and appreciate and which links us to our neighbours and recognises the efforts of key workers. This journal relies on the goodwill and hard work of the contributors, keen and willing to share ideas and inspiration. We would like to extend our thanks to all those – past, present and future – who continue to offer articles promoting primary history.

In this edition:

This edition of Primary History provides a wide range of ideas for you to use when celebrating the Platinum Jubilee. For EYFS and Key stage 1 there are ideas for investigating the Gold State Coach while Polly Gillow considers how you might explore the idea of jubilee medals. Kate Rigby suggests activities related to jubilee celebrations. Helen Crawford presents some ideas for books to add to your library related to the Queen. Linking with Polly’s article on medals are some recommendations from Kate on using artefacts.

Tim Lomas reminds us of the many monuments around Britain and how these might provide a basis for exploration. This would be a useful article for any schools thinking of visiting the new Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum (see History in the News, p58). Alf Wilkinson shows how useful maps are in relation to ancient Greece. We have some interesting research into Play in the Pandemic presented by Yinka Olusoga.

Significance and Interpretation are considered by Glenn Carter and ideas from his article relate to those of Edward Washington and Damienne Clark as we help children reflect on the experiences of others who lived through difficult times. Sadly, Matt Sossick’s article about the Cold War and Berlin Wall resonates as we witness the dreadful events in Ukraine. Certainly, now is time when we should be considering and understanding these past perspectives.