Within living memory is one of the periods of time KS1 pupils need to study. At first sight it might seem obvious that this is the period best suited to Year 1, because it is more familiar. If you think a little longer you may be seduced by the idea that children find the distinctions between the past and the present easier if the gap is bigger. The differences are more exaggerated, whereas children with very young parents will not see vast differences in their parents’ clothes, homes or leisure activities compared to their own.
If you are worried that pupils don’t study enough from within the period of living memory, then consider looking more at the concept of change in year 2 which will involve comparisons between the recent past the distant and the present. Take for example Seaside holidays. Really useful comparisons can be made between Victorian and 1960s holidays of pupils interview their grandparents about their holidays when they were children. Did they fly abroad or was it a motoring holiday in this country? Similarly with a topic such as schools, pupils can compare the experiences of more than one generation, remarking on what is similar and