The Potter Problem

£50 per class, KS3

The Potter Problem takes place at the Chapel, where a notice announces the death of Henry Potter (16 years and 6 months old), a miner at the Mary Pit.

Once inside the Chapel they will be faced with a coffin and asked to play the role of investigators into the death.  They will need to interview different people around the Pit Village to uncover what has happened, what Henry Potter was like and who was responsible for his death (if anyone). By interviewing different people, each group will hear a different point of view. They will then report what they have found to the rest of the group and together must decide who they think is responsible. They must also decide on a logical and fair recommendation to make sure that the incident is not repeated.

This activity supports students to:

  • Better understand coal mining life in Edwardian times.
  • Develop and use skills such as questioning, planning, team work, making decisions and judgements and the synthesis of information.
  • Understand bias and the influence of an individual’s perspective on the information they provide relating to an event. How does this effect historical records?

Please note that during this activity the class will be split into four groups to visit areas of the Pit Village and mine.  Accompanying staff must play an active role in supervising the groups as they carry out their investigation.

Target Age: Key Stage 3

Cost: £50

Duration: 1 hour

Group size: Full class

Season: All year round


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