Advanced search

Britain since 1930s - KS2

(13 Posts)
roaringwater Sun 28-Jun-15 17:11:23


It would appear that I have been outvoted by my year group colleagues and next term, our topic will be Britain since the 1930s. I have to admit that my enthusiasm for this is pretty much non-existant - partly due to end-of-term-itis and partly because I had another topic that I badly wanted to do and now I am disgruntled ;-)

Anyway, if you have taught this topic in upper KS2, please could you tell me all the fantastic and brilliant things that you did in order to enthuse me? The more creative ideas, the better, please. Also, if you have a superb recommendation for a class novel that would fit with this topic, I would be delighted as I fear that otherwise it will end up being the Machine Gunners AGAIN..

Rubylee87 Sun 28-Jun-15 17:15:59

I did this topic last year. Some of the things I remember from the top of my head:

- taught the Jarrow March and the children re enacted it with placards made in Art

- taught a unit on wartime songs, David Bowie and the Beatles for music and performed some of their most famous songs in the leaving service.

-taught VE Day and had our own VE Day party with jam sandwiches and jelly.

-I think we studied Goodnight Mister Tom as our text (war themed)

- for PE, we taught all the dances through the decades like the Lindy Hop, Waltz, the Twist etc.

I enjoyed the topic actually. It can be quite fun. grin

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Jun-15 17:39:38

How about when hitler stole pink rabbit by Judith Kerr, or is that not age appropriate? (I teach secondary and my children are still toddler / baby age!)

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Jun-15 17:41:55



(4 seperate books) by Maurice gleitzmann.

They're all awesome

toomuchicecream Sun 28-Jun-15 17:56:22

Which of the history objectives on the new curriculum will you be hitting by doing this? It's a while since I checked the curriculum so I could be wrong, but I thought that the only way you could do any 20th century history was by either doing it as an aspect of history over time (which I understand as education or childhood or punishment over a longer period of time ie several centuries) or a local history study (in which case you'd have to do the history of your area since 1930).

Of course, if you're an academy this won't apply....

roaringwater Sun 28-Jun-15 17:58:15

I hadn't come across the Maurice Gleitzmann books before but I've just ordered them as I think they look great. Probably can't use them for this topic though as I need something set in Britain.

I thought we could do something about race and immigration - can anyone think of a fantastic book about children coming to the UK from other countries?

I'm sure there's loads of really exciting things we could do but I'm just feeling a bit 'meh' about it. If we were able to focus in more closely on one particular decade (e.g. 1960s) it might really help, e.g.

60s fashion, music, art
race & immigration
technological advances e.g. weather satellites, postcodes, ATMs, heart transplants
space exploration

Thank you Rubylee for sharing ideas, I love the dance one especially.

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Jun-15 17:59:41

Sorry, I was thinking about the ww2 bit and forgot the Britain bit! The books are well worth reading though. I'll have another think.

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Jun-15 18:03:04

It might be a bit left field, but how about swallows and amazons? Or carrie's war?

roaringwater Sun 28-Jun-15 18:04:37

toomuchicecream - believe me, I hear you! We are part of a large multi-academy trust and where our lead school goes, the rest of us must surely follow.

I think we could do 'leisure and entertainment' or 'technological advances' from 1930 onwards and meet the objectives. To be honest, if they want to do a study of the local area from 1930 onwards, that could be interesting too. But I completely agree with you, this is not otherwise meeting the objectives of NC2014.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 28-Jun-15 18:10:35

I have only taught/supported this as a H.ed parent so maybe not applicable.

We did Jarrow March, but also covered all the other areas and what was happening. i.e local to us. Why wiganers are called pie eaters/ in relation to the strikes. (The first to eat humble pie and go back to work, etc) several trips to museums.
We had ww2 week, with real rationing, an air raid siren, and even went into it in the middle of the night. Maybe you could use a school field/ other building.
We made lots of artefacts like gas masks. Wore some typical clothing.
our neighbour joined in/ retired civil engineer, he loved it. grin
Then we did lots about the 50's and sixties, how teenagers began and how it used to be childhood - adult hood with nothing in between.
More trips to museums and listening to music of the time.
The eighties fashion, music and politics.
My dd prefered this to anything else we did in history. I also remembered to tie in seaside, and toys of the times too.
Not a teacher though but had to post as we had so much fun doing this.

toomuchicecream Sun 28-Jun-15 21:33:54

I did this topic on the old curriculum with year 6 a few years ago. Started with Jarrow march. Then did a bit on our royal family and the abdication of Edward VII. Various bits on the war - I remember a nice lesson on VE Day were we did a variation on Whose Line is it Anyway? They were all allocated a character and had be that character at a VE Day party - could they find the other people who were the same character? I got a recording of the air raid siren and played it at random moments in the day when I was bored and fancied seeing them go under their desks. Put masking tape on the windows to stop flying glass when the bombs landed (wouldn't do that again - took my TA hours with a scourer and her husband's WD40 to get the tape off afterwards). We did rationing. My current school did an evacuation day as part of reading Goodnight Mr Tom where they all had to come to school ready to be evacuated - the parents got into role on the playground and waved them off very convincingly!

But hey - if you're an academy you don't have to follow NC2014, do you. Gove was so convinced of the merits of the curriculum he wrote, his pet academies and free schools don't have to follow it. Hmmm....

anolderandwiserkitten Mon 29-Jun-15 09:29:45

err..... dont want to put a downer on anything but WW2 and VE day were not in the 1930's. I have a thing for 1930's decor etc. and buying "antiques" from the time.

1930's - The Depression ( although unemployment was high in Britian in the 1920's, it eased somewhat circa 1933). Abdication of King Edward VIII,which have been mentioned.

Art Deco was the big thing.

Fashion changed. Could look at informality movement.
Education expanded. School leaving was raised to 14. Working class went to ElementarySchools,Middle class to Grammars and Upper Class to Public Schools but there wasthe " scholarship" ( most counties had one) for the clever working class boy.

Icecreams and chocolate firmsexpanded ( look at some of the old names and choccies that are still around - Kit Kat, Milky Way, Rolo, Smarties etc.) Jaffa Cakes, Twigglets and Blue Ribband made an appearance around then tooas did Penguins.

TV, talking films ( The Jazz Singer was 1927) . Most people had a radio in the 1930's.

Poverty ( which could be compared to todays). The rise of the Black Shirts ( comparative movements across all countries). Chamberlain, appeasement.

Slum housing.

Compared to a construction boom and new houses for the middle classes. Home ownership - 27% owned their own homes in the 1930's. But therewas alos " Rackman" ( by word for rip off land lords)

The expansion of the " grid Iron" ( electricity) which came to most ordinary people in the 1930's.

Rise of cars in the more general population (my granddad had a car and he was no middle class man,but a more secure skilled worker).

Maybe contrast between the haves and the have nots?

It was the " long weekend between the wars" - and was quite prosperous and forward looking for many. The War to end all wars had been done they thought and it was supposed to be a time of making Britian a country fit for Heroes - and it went badly wrong with the depression..... but it still was a good time for around 80% of the population. .

Books - Cold Comfort Farm? Most Agatha Christie. The genre of the time was cowboys and crime stories mostly. Thats what people read - maybe you could look at that?

anolderandwiserkitten Mon 29-Jun-15 09:33:56

There is of course the connection between the 1930's and " Modern Britian". Had there not been a war, arguably, what happened in the 1950's and 60'swould have come about much earlier. Much of the art, fashion,modern and postmodern movements have their roots in the 1930's.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: