Putting Buckinghamshire in context
The following are ideas for teachers to compare sites in Buckinghamshire to those around the world, or learning about the different people, issues and events that are linked with the county.
As a teacher you have various options. You can give this information to your pupils to read and then construct activities around the topic; you can teach this information yourself and do similar activities; or you can guide your pupils to finding this information themselves by using the websites listed below as well as running activities alongside.
One activity to run through the topics could be to ask your pupils to talk about their knowledge, experience and opinion of some of the places, people, events and issues they come across. There are other ideas for activities in the green and yellow boxes under each topic heading.
National Curriculum links
These information sheets and suggested activities are designed to be used to merge history with citizenship. In particular:
Citizenship; Key Stage 2
- 2e: to reflect on spiritual, moral, social, and cultural issues, using imagination to understand other people's experiences.
- 2i: to appreciate the range of national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom.
- 4b: to think about the lives of people living in other places and times, and people with different values and customs.
- 4f: that differences and similarities between people arise from a number of factors, including cultural, ethnic, racial and religious diversity, gender and disability.
- 5g: consider social and moral dilemmas that they come across in life [for example, encouraging respect and understanding between different races and dealing with harassment].
Citizenship; Key Stage 3 & 4
- 1b: the origins of the diversity of national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding.
- 1i: the world as a global community, and the political, economic, environmental and social implications of this.
- 2a: think about topical political, spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues, problems and events by analysing information and its sources, including ICT-based sources.
- 3a: use their imagination to consider other people's experiences and be able to think about, express and explain views that are not their own.
History; Key Stage 2
- 2b: about the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies studied, in Britain and the wider world
- 8b: aspects of the histories of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where appropriate, and about the history of Britain in its European and wider world context.
- 9: Invaders and Settlers before the Norman Conquest.
History; Key Stage 3
- 2b: about the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies studied, both in Britain and the wider world
- 7b: history from a variety of perspectives including political, religious, social, cultural, aesthetic, economic, technological and scientific.
- 7d: the history of Britain in its European and wider world context.
Geography; Key Stage 2 & 3:
- 3b/c: to describe where places are/the national or global context of places
- 3e/g: to recognise that places are interdependent [for example, through the supply of goods, movements of people].
Information sheets on Buckinghamshire's diverse past
Attached to each information sheet are a number of internet links specific to that topic, suggestions for activities and links to associated images that can be downloaded and used in the classroom. There are also links to places of archaeological and historical interest in Buckinghamshire held on the Unlocking Buckinghamshire's Past website.
- Medieval monasteries
- Education (Tudor and Stuart)
- Education (Georgian and Victorian)
- Evacuation (Second World War)
World archaeology online resources
- To do searches for archaeological sites and historic buildings in Buckinghamshire, go to www.buckscc.gov.uk/archaeology and click on Unlocking Buckinghamshire’s Past.
- To search for archaeological sites in England, go to www.pastscape.org.uk. For a database of listed buildings with pictures you can go to www.imagesofengland.org.uk.
- To search for archaeological sites and historic buildings in Wales go to www.coflein.gov.uk.
- To search for archaeological sites and historic buildings in Scotland, there are a number of websites you can go to, from www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/archaeology/smr, which covers Aberdeen, Angus and Moray sites; www.ambaile.org.uk/smr, the site for the Highlands; the West of Scotland and the National Monuments Record for the whole of Scotland are on the Archaeology Data Service website www.ads.ahds.ac.uk.
- To search for archaeological sites and historic buildings in Northern Ireland go to www.ehsni.gov.uk/built/mbr/monuments_database/mons.asp.
- For a website with resources about European archaeology go to the Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe http://odur.let.rug.nl/arge.
- To look at mainly prehistoric monuments from around the world, see www.comp-archaeology.org.
- For a website containing archaeological information from around the world go to ArchNet: http://archnet.asu.edu.
- For World Heritage Sites see http://whc.unesco.org. There is a list by country with descriptions and accompanying pictures. You can do a search for cultural sites (as the World Heritage Sites includes natural places) and those with a photo gallery (you can even look at World Heritage Sites on Google Earth, if you have broadband and can download it to your computers).
Other online resources
- Buckinghamshire and Britain have received newcomers for centuries. Prehistoric settlers, Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, and more recently large numbers of immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, South-East Asia and the Far East and many other places. See this article on the BBC History website for information about early settlers: www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/prehistory/peoples_01.shtml.
- An article on the First Black Britons at the BBC History website: www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/multicultural/black_britons_01.shtml
- More details about Black and Asian presence in Britain from the Romans to the Victorian period can be found on the National Archives website www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory.
- Part of the BBC History website is devoted to Multicultural Britain www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/multicultural/.
- The Roman period brought people from all over the empire to Britain. An auxiliary unit from Morocco was stationed at Hadrian’s Wall and a Libyan Roman Emperor, Septimus Severus, ruled from and died in York. See www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/roots/2003/10/blackhistoryromans.shtml.
- The Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS) recently excavated two medieval Jewish ritual baths called mikveh in London. One was at Gresham Street and the other at Milk Street. You can find out more details by looking at the MoLAS website www.molas.org.uk and going to the projects section.
- From the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Buckinghamshire has been home to some very prominent Jewish families, including the Rothschilds of Waddesdon manor (See www.rothschild.info/history and www.rothschildarchive.org for more information).
- The Moving Here website charts the experiences of people settling in Britain: www.movinghere.org.uk.
- There is also an animation showing changing populations of Britain over time on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/society/launch_ani_population.shtml.
In times of war
- A website dedicated to the part troops from what was the empire, the Indian Sub-continent, Africa and the Caribbean, played in the Second World War can be found at We Also Served.
- The Anti-Slavery Campaign website has a history of African slavery at www.antislavery.org/breakingthesilence/.
- There is more detail about the British anti-slavery movement on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/protest_reform/antislavery_01.shtml.
- There are resources you can borrow or hire from the Minority Ethnic and Traveller Achievement Service (METAS) to explore diversity.
- The Schools Library Service also has boxes of replica items you can hire representing various periods in the past from the Vikings to the Victorians and World Cultures.
A number of the places mentioned in the information sheets are open to the fee-paying public or are freely accessible.
- Waddesdon Manor is owned by the National Trust and is open most days. It was built for Ferdinand de Rothschild, one member of one of Buckinghamshire's most prominent Jewish families.
- Claydon House is also National Trust run, though you should check when it is open. It was and is the hosue of the Verneys. In the seventeenth century they sent one member to Barbados to start a plantation.
- Stowe Landscape Gardens are another National Trust property in Buckinghamshire, though Stowe House is now Stowe School and so you should check for open days. The Dukes of Buckingham who lived there in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were plantation owners.
- Of the archaeological sites to see, Taplow Saxon barrow is the most impressive and accessible. It is next to Taplow Court but not in the grounds of the country house. It is in the old churchyard and there is a public right-of-way to it. It is the mound over a very rich Saxon burial dated to the seventh century. It is not only the burial of a Saxon who had settled in this country, but also contains many artefacts that were traded over very long distances, such as a bowl from Egypt and garnets from Sri Lanka or India. The artefacts are on display at the British Museum; otherwise copies and a reconstruction of the grave itself are in Taplow Court, which is now home to a Buddhist organisation called Soka Gakkai International. Check for opening times.
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