What’s the truth behind the Suffragette derby of 1913?

This lesson is always popular. By adding newsreel footage and facsimile artefacts to the usual array of photographs and documentary sources, this lesson aims to capitalise on pupils’ innate interest in the event.  They are encouraged to carry out an evidence-based enquiry in which they are expected to come to their own independent conclusions backed up by evidence. I am grateful to Richard McFahn, AST for history at Fernhill school for allowing me to develop his ideas and materials.

Learning objectives

  • pupils compare a range of sources in order to arrive an at independent judgement about what happened
  • they evaluate a number of sources to help explain why the event was reported so differently
  • they understand the significance of the event and the role of the media in reporting it.

Step 1

Find an old handbag, perhaps from a charity shop. Inside it place 3 pieces of ribbon to represent the Suffragette colours, Green , White and Violet. Put a little mud and grass stain on the ribbons. Also in the bag have a race card, a train ticket and a flyer for a lecture. Reveal each item one by one. Ask the pupils what they think links them. Some

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