KS1 History Free Ideas for Parents

The following information sheet is devised to support you in providing home learning activities for your pupils in Key Stage 1. These activities are inspired by the Rising Stars History scheme and they can complete one per week. These should provide them with at least a term’s work in history. You may decide just to limit them to one theme at a time. The idea is to choose whatever approach works for you and your parents. The table below indicates the areas of the National Curriculum covered. This is intended for you and not to be shared with parents. 

The sheet is fully editable so you can change terminology, cut or add sections and add examples from topics your pupils would be learning about at this time of year. You could add further detail and examples where you think parents need greater support. Some weblinks are suggested but you could add further links where you have a subscription. 

Download a letter template that you can send to parents along with the resources


What was life like when our grandparents were children?

An important part of your child’s learning in history is to find out about the recent past when you, their grandparents and great-grandparents were children. What would they like to know about? It could be finding out about what school was like, the food they ate, where they went on holiday, what they did for entertainment, what their home was like? When they are collecting the information they can compare this with their own experiences and decide what is the same and what is different and then decide which they prefer and why. Information could be collected via phonecalls, Skype or writing postcards possibly digital and letters or email messages. They can present their information in a variety of ways for example in a series of drawings with captions or speech bubbles or in a table with columns for the different generations. It is important to let your child choose. 

What was our local area like in the past?

This is a tricky topic to study when visits outside the home are limited but there are still some things you can do. A great deal depends on the house and area you live in.

You could start with the story of your house. Look around you and find out has it always looked this way? There may be clues to changes both inside and outside. Think about why those changes were made.

Draw a picture of what you think the house looked like before the changes were made. 
Look outside the windows at the view. Are there any clues about changes in your area? Maybe you can see an old mill chimney or rows of terraced houses.

You could also look for clues on how your area has changed when you go on your daily walks, maybe signs of old shops or evidence from the war memorial. If you want to spend some time finding out more about the local area look for local history pages online, social media history groups and also visit https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/map-search?clearresults=true
for ideas. You can have lots of fun looking at old maps of your area too so visit https://maps.nls.uk for links.

Who should we remember from the past and why?

Your child will have been finding out about famous people from the past. Maybe they want to find out more about someone they already know something about or want to research about someone new?

Be guided here by your child’s interests-  maybe sport, transport or a book they have at home. Or find out about someone from your local area. Try to avoid you and your child spending too much time online and your child copying big chunks of text.

A great website to support your investigations is BBC Bitesize. 

When you have read about the person get your child to decide on 5 important facts they want to know and remember. You could devise a quiz to see if they can remember them.

They could also answer the question why should we remember this person? Once they have found about a few different people they can begin to decide who they think is the most important and why. It could be because they made an amazing invention or were very brave or kind. There are no right or wrong answers here. They just need to have a good reason why they have made this choice. 

What happened in important events in the past and why?

In school your child will have been finding out about important events from the past. The Great Fire of London is a brilliant one to learn more about and http://www.fireoflondon.org.uk offers lots of fun learning opportunities.

You could also learn about other events depending on your child’s interests e.g. the sinking of the Titanic or the First flight. When you find out about an event you could make a fact file, retell the story in a cartoon strip or even through a puppet show.

Get your child to think about why the event happened and also what happened as a result of the event. There are probably lots of reasons why and you could then decide what you think is the most important reason.

You could also find out about important anniversaries this year. One coming up soon is commemorating 75 years since VE Day on the 8th May or 200 years since Florence Nightingale was born on 12th May 1820. Or you may want to find out about fun anniversaries like the opening of the first rollercoaster in the UK in Margate on 3rd July 1920. Let your child decide how we should celebrate of commemorate events from the past. 

In all these activities your child will be discovering all the different ways we find out about the past. A great example is Samuel Pepys Diary and what this tells us about the Great Fire of London. Inspired by this your child could begin to write their diary of the time they are home learning. You can explain how this will tell future generations about a time when life was rather different from normal. They could also plan to make a time capsule of the period and decide what should be included and why.

In all these activities it is important for your child to enjoy their learning and maybe you will find you learn something new too. 

Bev Forrest is the author of Rising Stars History. She is Chair of the Historical Association Primary Committee and a HA Quality Mark assessor. 


'History, Foundation Subjects, History, History and Geography, home

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