Local History

What constitutes local history can be a grey area. It includes, the history of your school, the history of the town or village in which you live, and the history of a particular county or region. Local history forms a key element of the history curriculum from Key Stages 1-3 and is a way of making links between the locality and national and international events.  The question for many schools is whether to teach a local history unit discretely or whether to incorporate it into another unit. There are a number of things that the teacher of local history needs to have in their toolkit, especially if you, as the teacher, are not particularly familiar with the local context of the school in which you teach. In this section you will find helpful articles, guides and resources to enable you to make local history meaningful.

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  • Using oral history to enhance a local history partnership

    Article

    Eliza West and Emily Toettcher explain how a partnership between school and museum has evolved into a four-year enquiry into local history. The article focuses on the successful introduction of an oral history element in the GCSE syllabus and how the investigation into ‘remembered’ history helps students to appreciate the complexities of truth...

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  • Exploring the importance of local visits in developing wider narratives of change and continuity

    Article

    The authors of this article take a well-known structural framework for students’ thinking about the Reformation and give it a twist. Their Tudor religious rollercoaster is informed by local visits in their setting in Guernsey – an area where the local picture was not quite the same as the national...

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  • Memorialisation and the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme

    Podcast

    In this podcast Simon Bendry, Programme Director for the UCL Institute of Education’s First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, discusses the programme and its impact. This podcast was recorded as part of the Teacher Fellowship Programme on Conflict, Art and Remembrance.

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  • Investigating the Impact of WW1 on your Locality

    30th January 2019

    This teacher’s guide, student booklet and scheme of work for Key Stage 3 can be freely downloaded from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust website here.     The project involved Year 9 students using the names on their local war memorial as the starting point for an investigation which culminated in them writing biographies of...

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  • From St Neots to Siberia: an HA Quality Mark Community Outreach Project

    Multipage Article

    Longsands Academy, a secondary school in Saint Neots, Cambridgeshire was awarded an HA Quality Mark Silver Award in 2016. The History Department at Longsands chose to build on this success by applying for a First World War Then and Now grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a community...

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  • Right up my street: the knowledge needed to plan a local history enquiry

    Article

    Inspired by the claim that local history can be taught effectively ‘Any time, any place, anywhere’, Katharine Burn and Jason Todd took up the challenge of planning Key Stage 3 enquiries related to an unusual and diverse, but frequently neglected and often despised, corner of Oxford. They sought not merely...

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  • Inverting the telescope: investigating sources from a different perspective

    Article

    As historians, we are dependent on evidence, which comes in many varieties. Rosalind Stirzaker here introduces a project which she ran two years ago to encourage her students to think about artefacts in a different way. They have examined randomly preserved artefacts such as those of Pompeii, and sets of...

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  • Bringing together students from Bradford and Peshawar

    Article

    Connecting Classrooms: bringing together Bradford and Peshawar, primary and secondary schools, history and English In this article, Dianne Excell shares her experience of a crossphase, collaborative project  funded by the British Council that brought together teachers and pupils from three  schools  n Bradford and five schools in Peshawar, Pakistan. Although...

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  • Using databases to explore the real depth in the data

    Article

    Is it a good thing to have a lot of evidence? Surely the historian would answer that yes, it is: the more evidence that can be used, the better. The problem with this approach, though, is that too much data can be overwhelming for the history student - and, in...

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  • Exploring big overviews through local depth

    Article

    Exploring big overviews through local depth Rachel Foster and Kath Goudie's search for a more rigorous and interesting way of teaching Year 7 the Norman Conquest was initially driven by a desire to incorporate local history in a more meaningful way in their Key Stage 3 schemes of work. This...

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  • Writing Letchworth's war: developing a sense of the local within historical fiction through primary sources

    Article

    Writing Letchworth's war: developing a sense of the local within historical fiction through primary sources Local history, historical fiction, and one of the most significant events of the twentieth century come together in this article as Jon Grant and Dan Townsend suggest a way to enable students to produce better...

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  • Making sense of the eighteenth century

    Article

    Making sense of the eighteenth century Pressures on curriculum time force us all to make difficult choices about curriculum content, but the eighteenth century seems to have suffered particular neglect. Inspired by the tercentenary of the accession of the first Georgian king and the interest in the Acts of Union prompted...

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  • Year 9 face up to historical difference

    Article

    How many people does it take to make an Essex man? Year 9 face up to historical difference Teaching her Key Stage 3 students in Essex, Catherine McCrory was struck by the stark contrast between their enthusiasm for studying diverse histories of Africa and the Americas and their reluctance to...

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  • Year 7 explore the story of a London street

    Article

    One street, twenty children and the experience of a changing town: Year 7 explore the story of a London street Michael Wood and others have recently drawn attention to the ways in which big stories can be told through local histories. Hughes and De Silva report a teaching unit through...

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  • English Heritage and Historical Association Local Heritage Project

    Article

    One year ago, the south eastern branch of English Heritage and the Historical Association came together to see what we could do better in partnership. The outcome was the Local Heritage Partnership Project. The vision was to work together to provide access to and inspiration to carry out local heritage...

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  • Time and Place; Using a Local Historical Site with Key Stage 2 and 3

    Multipage Article

    English Heritage and the Historical Association have teamed up to provide this great new CPD guide to getting the most out of local historical sites with your classes. This easy to follow unit provides the basis for an entire unit of local study using the built heritage around you. Examples...

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  • Community engagement in local history

    Article

    Community engagement in local history: a report on the Hemel at War projectThis article, by Lynda Abbott and Richard Grayson, offers a fascinating example of collaboration between school and university, focused on the development of a community archive.The project - run as an extra-curricular activity - was originally inspired by...

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  • Using family history to provoke rigorous enquiry

    Article

    ‘My grandfather slammed the door in Winston Churchill's face!' Using family history to provoke rigorous enquiryThe idea of using ‘little stories' to illuminate the ‘big pictures' of the past was creatively explored in Teaching History 107, which offered teachers a wealth of detailed vignettes with which to kindle young people's...

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  • A local history toolkit

    Article

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  • Newspaper Collection

    Article

    Richard Heaton's collection of newspapers consists of over 800 free searchable extracts and full transcripts of English and Irish, Georgian and early Victorian Regional newspapers. It is one the largest free collections on the web full of unique material bringing you one step closer to your ancestors and their world,...

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