Mayday Mayday

£50, KS3

This activity takes students into the depths of World War 2 to meet a new Special Constable struggling with an investigation into a local incident. Photographs, documents, newspapers and quotes from witnesses are brought to life in a real historical investigation of events which shook a community, during an international war.

Putting enquiry skills into practice students will need to question, think critically, weigh evidence, and sift arguments, all the time developing their historical skills and judgement. Students are challenged to make sense of it all, sifting evidence amidst censorship and traumatic, emotional tales to uncover the facts and present a clear version of events.

In revealing the real life events and handling historical documents, students will have the opportunity to consider and discuss the many different factors that led to eight deaths and many more injuries to men, women and children in a quiet village during the Second World War.

The activity will help students to:

  • Reflect on the events of World War 2 at a local level, investigating a real life event in County Durham and understanding the impact this had on local families and communities.
  • Understand the pros and cons of different types of historical sources, how they can be interpreted and how they are used.
  • Pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response.

Pupils from KS4 may find this activity a useful preparation for their controlled assessment.

Target age: Years 7, 8, 9

Cost: £50

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Whole class

Season: All year

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