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School Teachers   Secondary Courses

Primary Courses Using Archives

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Staffordshire Record Office offers your gifted and talented students a valuable opportunity to experience learning beyond the classroom. This activity endorses the Governments "Learning Outside the Classroom" agenda, as part of their Every Child Matters initiative. Visits are encouraged to be an integral part of the Programmes of Study and not simply a "bolt on". Each school group will be given a pack to work with containing copies of archive material about their chosen theme(s). Included, in the packs are both specific and generic source material.

During their visit, after a brief introduction the pupils will be expected to carry out a number of practical activities using the documents, to develop essential research skills. These archive activities have been devised to encourage the use of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and promote an active rather than a passive approach to learning. It is very important that this session is not totally content driven and that your gifted learners are given valuable time and space to THINK, REFLECT and make LINKS between the sources. All too often due to the constraints of timetabling and resources these valuable and essential historical skills are overlooked in the classroom.

It is intended that the practical activities challenge the pupils and perhaps take them beyond their comfort zone. We hope that the packs will encourage the learners to use their creative imagination and become more confident in the use of accurate vocabulary when discussing and presenting their ideas.

It may be necessary for teachers to explain and clarify content and context, or decipher words, but during this visit the teacher should take on the role of facilitator rather than teacher. Wherever possible teachers should promote independence and risk taking. Encouraging and empowering their groups to guide their own learning, draw their own conclusions and form their own interpretations of their history theme.

"Thinking Spaces" - outline of visit to Staffordshire Record Office

The visit is suitable for up to 12 Gifted and Talented pupils Y5-8 and 3 adults.

Each group will be divided into three or four smaller groups, and one adult will be needed to support each smaller group.


There are eight themes which organisers can choose from. While these themes do link with the History Key Stage 2 and 3 Breadths of Study, they also have a very strong cross curricular element, and bring together literacy, geography and citizenship themes.

Organisers can choose from:

  • World War One Training Camps Cannock Chase
  • Churches
  • Castles - a domestic perspective
  • Letters and postcards
  • Schools Life in Staffordshire
  • Elizabethan Life in Staffordshire
  • Victorian Working Life
  • Gaols and Crime

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Contact us

If you are interested in using any of these courses please contact Matthew Blake, Archivist (Access and Learning) at Staffordshire Record Office for further information.

E-mail: Matthew Blake

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