Teaching ‘changes within living memory’: making the most of your school

Primary History article

By Helen Crawford and Sandra Kirkland, published 7th November 2023

The Key Stage 1 curriculum requires an exploration of changes within living memory, and what better way to do this than discovering the history of your own school! In this article, Helen Crawford and Sandra Kirkland provide guidance and suggested activities to explore change and continuity in your own locality. 

One of the requirements of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 is to teach ‘changes within living memory’. There are, of course, a number of different themes that could be covered here, ranging from toys, transport, holidays, to houses and homes. So why choose to teach about your school? The first reason is that it is a theme that relates to every child’s direct experience – it is their school. There is a real value to be gained in pupils becoming ‘experts’ on an aspect of their own history. As a teacher, you also don’t have to consider any differences in pupils’ backgrounds or wider experiences (which may be an issue if you choose a theme such as holidays, for example). Finally, focusing on your school is an excellent way to embed an aspect of local history, another requirement of Key Stage 1 history, into your curriculum...

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