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The National Archives Education Service

The Education Service provides free online resources and taught sessions, supporting the National Curriculum for history from key stage 1 up to A-level. Visit our website to access the full range of our resources, from Domesday to Britain in the 1960s, and find out about more about our schools programme, including new professional development opportunities for teachers.

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The Education Service provides free online resources and taught sessions, supporting the National Curriculum for history from key stage 1 up to A-level. Visit our website to access the full range of our resources, from Domesday to Britain in the 1960s, and find out about more about our schools programme, including new professional development opportunities for teachers.
Civil Rights in America
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Civil Rights in America

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Follow the progress of the struggle through the archives. The collection of documents relates to protests, racial tension and the state and federal governments response to calls for equal rights for black Americans in the 1950’s and 1960s. The earliest documents relate to high school segregation in the United States, the documents from the Kennedy era of the early 1960s and finally, the documents which cover the outbreak and aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1965.
The Sinking of the Titanic
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The Sinking of the Titanic

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This lesson is based on the story of the sinking of the Titanic. Using the sources pupils can find out about the passengers on the Titanic to find out about those who drowned and also the survivors.
Victorian Homes
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Victorian Homes

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A lesson plan on Victorian homes. Pupils are gradually introduced to sources on Hackney, starting with a small map section, then photographic evidence, concluding with the census.
Medicine on the Western Front (Part One)
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Medicine on the Western Front (Part One)

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The National Archives holds many documents pertaining to the First World War, allowing us to investigate many aspects of wartime life. Within these collections we have gathered together examples of a variety of records that relate to Medicine on the Western Front. The collections cover key examples of the medical issues faced during wartime, innovations inspired by the war, and the triumphs and struggles of those serving as doctors and nurses as well as the soldiers abroad. Both these collections of original sources, Part 1 and Part 2, can be used to support GCSE thematic modules which cover Medicine through Time to the present day and the historical context of the British sector of the Western Front. Teachers have the flexibility to download and create their own resources from these documents, to develop their pupils’ understanding of how to work with sources and prepare and practice for source based exam questions. Each collection includes a wide range of sources to encourage students to think broadly when exploring these topics. With each collection we have suggested 5 tasks based on some of the documents. The tasks can be completed individually or in groups. There is a downloadable pdf of questions to help working with sources. All documents are provided with transcripts. We hope that exposure to original source material may also foster further document research. The following themes covered by the documents in Part 1 include: Type of injury which resulted from trench warfare. Medical treatments received by injured soldiers and some of the medical developments that came with the First World War. Dangers faced by soldiers caused by exploding shells, grenades, shrapnel, gas, personal combat, flooding, noise, acute stress. Type of medical services from transport to hospitals. (For the injured, this could involve initial treatment and transport by a Field Ambulance unit and return to duty or movement to a Casualty Clearing Station. From here injured soldiers could be moved to a Base Hospital before transportation to a British military/civilian hospital at home via hospital ship. Transport itself ranged from stretcher bearers, horse-drawn ambulances, motor vehicles, boats or ships.) Included here also is the personal War Office record of war poet Wilfred Owen (one of a specific record set of notable high-ranking officers in the British Army).
The French Revolution
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The French Revolution

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This lesson encourages pupils to examine and investigate the British reaction to the outbreak of the French Revolution through the use of primary source evidence. Suitable for KS3 - Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901 - The French Revolutionary Wars
The Great Plague of 1665-6
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The Great Plague of 1665-6

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A lesson plan which enables pupils to learn about the plague and to learn how the lives, beliefs, ideas and attitudes of people in Britain have changed over time.
The Home Front
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The Home Front

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This lesson asks pupils to develop their understanding of the war on the Home Front. Through primary source analysis it examines how those involved on the Home Front were encouraged to deal with the war and the problems that shortages and uncertainty created.
Fire of London
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Fire of London

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This lesson can be used ofr KS1, KS2 and KS3. It looks at the story of the fire of London through evidence relating to some of the key characters - Thomas Farrinor and Charles II.
Slavery
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Slavery

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This lesson offers graphic evidence of the cruelty on which enslavement was based and considers details about the way enslaved African society worked and how they were punished.
First World War - Scheme of Work
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First World War - Scheme of Work

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‘Why are historians still arguing about the First World War?’ Using original letters, reports, photographs and maps, students follow an enquiry led approach via six modules of 1-3 lessons each. Working with these sources your students will be able to put the evidence to the test and bust a series of common myths about this conflict, including were the soldiers ‘lions led by donkeys’ or did ’women spent the war nursing and knitting’. This scheme of work is designed as an an ‘off the peg’ resource for students learning about the First World War at Key Stage 3.
The Poor Law
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The Poor Law

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This lesson can be used as a starting point for investigating the new Poor Law in more depth and discussing attitudes to the poor in 19th century Britain.
Native North Americans
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Native North Americans

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This lesson asks pupils to investigate the early contact between Europeans and Native Americans. Using primary source diary extracts, pupils are able to understand and appreciate the first encounters between European settlers and the indigenous people of North America.
The Holocaust
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The Holocaust

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Teachers notes and a 26 document collection on the Holocaust from the National Archives' repositories. These key documents from The National Archives lend themselves most readily to an analysis of the Allied response to the question of saving the Jews. The documents in the collection are labelled and arranged together according to theme. Please note some of these documents, particularly towards the end of the collection, are distressing to read. Please be aware of this when presenting to students.
Belsen Concentration Camp 1945
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Belsen Concentration Camp 1945

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This lesson and pictures focus on what the British found when they entered Belsen concentration camp.This study of Belsen reveals how British soldiers were aghast at what they found when they liberated the camps.
Kindertransport: Saving Refugee Children?
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Kindertransport: Saving Refugee Children?

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The purpose of this document collection is to allow students and teachers to develop their own questions and lines of historical enquiry. A possible enquiry question would be: 'What was Britain's response to the child refugee problem in Nazi occupied countries?' Again, these sources could be used to support school programmes which use survivor testimony. Alternatively, teachers may wish to use the collection to develop their own resources or to &'curate&'; their own 'exhibition&'.