Blog

Using artefacts to help children’s historical understanding at Key Stage 1

Since the early 90s, artefacts have become increasingly available either to purchase or to loan.  Many firms offer useful replicas and schools have built up their own small collections on certain themes, such as washday and schools in the past, focusing on the smaller...

Read more

British Empire – How can we infer so much about the empire from a study of just one map and the person who created it?

This session starts by looking at the information to be gleaned from a well-known 1886 map of the empire and  ends with them writing an evaluative expert caption to accompany a textbook image which refers explicitly to the provenance Objectives
  • Students understand how the Empire was...
Read more

Richard I: Lionheart or loser should we keep his statue – SMART TASK

This short task puts pupils in the role of spin doctors who have to ‘big up’ the reputation of Richard the Lionheart. There is a lobby of people who feel that his statue outside the Houses of Parliament should be replaced with a more suitable...
Read more

Medium Term Planner for Thematic unit Beyond Face Value Year 6

This end-of-key stage unit fulfils the post-1066 thematic requirement of the National Curriculum, but it does so in a particularly imaginative way. Instead of looking at just one period, here we look at three. Each has been deliberately chosen as they are optional topics so...
Read more

KS1 Medium Term Planner for Spreading the Word: Caxton to Bell

The ‘significant people’ element of the KS1 history curriculum now requires pupils to compare achievements of individuals within a linked theme - in this case communication in a topic called ‘spreading the word’. We have chosen Caxton and Bell, rather than Berners-Lee who, although mentioned...
Read more

KQ1 Why do you think Louis Braille is remembered today: Smart task

Step 1

Start by showing the image of Louis Braille on slide 1 of the PowerPoint. Explain that he is a very famous man who lived 200 years ago and that what he invented is still used today, even though he was only 15 years old...
Read more

New KS1 planner and lessons on Louis Braille

As you all know, the National Curriculum for history at KS1 was revised a few years ago to ensure that pupils didn't just learn about random figures in the past but looked at people who were linked by a theme. Many schools have chosen a...
Read more

From Caesar’s invasions to Claudius’ conquest. KQ1 part 1

This first part of the first enquiry links to earlier work on the Iron Age and takes pupils from Julius Caesar’s two short-lived invasions through to anticipating Claudius’ invasion and conquest just under 100 years later.

Step 1

It is important that you don’t tell pupils directly...
Read more

Spectacular Bronze Age finds

Among the items found this week in Peebles in Scotland were a complete horse harness, preserved by the soil, and a sword that have been dated as being from 1000 to 900 BC. They also found decorated straps, buckles, rings, ornaments and chariot wheel axle...
Read more

Linking your early civilizations at KS2

There is a real and present danger in KS2 of failing to make links between topics. If we are not careful, topics become silos, seen as separate entities. Much better to make as many links as possible to enable pupils to make important connections and...
Read more

Now ready. ( September 2020)Great new KS2 Iron Age activity: Pitching technological developments in Dragon’s Den. From mirrors to chariots

Inspired by  an article by Karen Doull I read recently in the Historical Association's Primary History magazine, I decided to work up a fun activity on technological developments in the Iron Age. Six groups of 5 pupils each are given a technological development to pitch...
Read more

Who played with these toys in the past? and how can we know? KQ5 lesson

This is particularly suitable as an extension question for the older/ higher attaining pupils in KS1 if you are teaching this topic to a mixed-age class.

Objectives

  • Pupils are able to go beyond three generations to see people from over 100 years ago, beyond living memory,...
Read more

Is this another find to help us understand Stonehenge?

Yesterday's more interesting news centred on a newly-published report on the finds at Durrington Wells on Salisbury Plain. As the place where the builders of Stonehenge lived and feasted, Durrington Walls is key to unlocking the story of the wider Stonehenge landscape, and this astonishing...
Read more

How do we know about Grace Darling’s actions which happened so long ago? KQ4

There are two distinct elements to this session.  Firstly, pupils develop a sense of period and of evidence by thinking about the sources historians would use to find out about Grace Darling.  Secondly, pupils act as history detectives, hunting down the clues which support the...
Read more

How did sea rescue improve as a result of Grace Darling’s story? KQ5

This session comprises 2 principal activities: matching descriptions of lifeboats to time periods to deepen pupils’ sense of change, continuity and chronology; sequencing and then selecting images for a Museum about most significant changes to sea rescue since Grace Darling's time.

Step 1

Ask children to think...
Read more

Interesting resources on Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole

Great resource on Mary Seacole  https://www.mylearning.org/stories/mary-seacole/199? There are three games and an interactive glossary, each one narrated by Mary Seacole. The games are: Meet Mary Seacole: an introduction to Mary Seacole Herbal Remedy Matching Game: pupils select picture cards so that illustrations relating to Mary Seacole and herbal remedies are correctly paired...
Read more

What inspectors report on in deep dive history inspections: a recent example with my commentary from 2020

What the inspectors said  Commentary
Pupils in your school thoroughly enjoy learning history.   They like the enquiry-based approach you take to learning in the history curriculum, as they learn to ask and answer questions about history.   Several spoke about the memorable experiences they have had when... Read more

Great new lesson on Ancient Egypt coming soon

A great new lesson using objects to draw conclusions about life in Ancient Egypt is soon to be available to subscribers who can request an early draft copy from 1.06.20 The lesson takes images of four small objects each of which is slowly revealed on the...
Read more

KQ2 Why did Grace Darling act in the way she did?

An active lesson in which pupils generate adjectives and then use a Diamond-4 ranking activity, followed by hot seating, to ascertain Grace’s motivation.   A broader context is achieved by asking pupils to analyse the possible reasons why Grace was seen as particularly famous at the...
Read more

Top Tips for teaching….Stone Age to Iron Age

Stone Age to Iron Age The British Isles has been populated by humans for 750.000 years but only became an island when the ice sheets melted about 8,000 years ago. It was only with the introduction of farming about 7,000 years ago that we see radical...
Read more
KSH footer silhouette