Key Stage 2 History Detectives Trails

All visiting KS2 groups can select a self-led historical enquiry from the choices below. A guide can be arranged for an additional charge if required.

All historical enquiry visits include a trail and teachers’ notes for the day, pre and post visit resources and can be enhanced by exciting additional activities.

An historical enquiry into the lives of real children who lived in the Black Country.

This is an exciting way to show your students how we know about the past. They will be looking at the lives of real children who who were born in the late 19th/early 20th century and who lived in the  houses now displayed at the Museum.

Overall Enquiry Question:   What was significant about the lives of these children?

Supporting Questions:   What do the lives of these children tell us about the historical period in which they lived?  What sources can we use to find out about the past? How useful are they?  How have the lives of children changed through time? How can we share our findings?

At the end of the enquiry students will have gathered information that can be used to develop a profile of the children investigated. This could be communicated in the form of a marketing poster,  diary entry,  shoe box diorama or even an oral presentation.

Essential Information

Teacher Information leaflet

Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of how we find out about and interpret the past
  • To use a range of different sources to find out about the lives of children who lived in the Black Country in the past
  • To develop historical enquiry skills by asking and answering questions, selecting and recording information and drawing conclusions relevant to the focus of the enquiry
  • To communicate knowledge and understanding of the past in organised and structured ways
  • To recognise that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways at a museum

Choose a Child

Samuel Webb
Investigation pack and more information…

Lillian Hodgkiss
Investigation pack and more information…

Harry Parkin
Investigation pack and more information…

Rose Bradley
Investigation pack and more information…

Your students will investigate the impact of coal, iron and steam on life and industry in the Black Country.

An investigation pack, consisting of historic maps, images and documents, will be provided to supplement the evidence at the Museum.

Download Site Trail

Objectives

  • To undertake an historical investigation using a range of sources, including historic buildings, landscapes, artefacts, photographs and archival material 
  • To develop historical enquiry skills by asking and answering historically valid questions, selecting and organising historically valid information and drawing conclusions relevant to the focus of the enquiry
  • To find out about key events and inventions in the development of coal mining and steam power
  • To understand the symbiotic relationship between coal mining and the development of steam power
  • To make appropriate use of dates, terms and historical vocabulary to describe the passing of time
  • To communicate their understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of steam power

Your students will investigate a significant turning point in British history – the development of the canal transport system.

They will use a range of sources to determine the impact the development of canals had on life and industry in the Black Country and beyond. An investigation pack, consisting of historic maps, images and documents, will be provided to supplement the evidence at the Museum.

Download Site Trail

Objectives

  • To undertake an historical investigation using a range of sources, including historic buildings, landscapes, artefacts, photographs and archival material 
  • To develop historical enquiry skills by asking and answering historically valid questions, selecting and organising historically valid information and drawing conclusions relevant to the focus of the enquiry
  • To find out about key events and inventions in the development of the canal system
  • To identify and record characteristic features of Victorian canals and canal boats
  • To make appropriate use of dates, terms and historical vocabulary to describe the passing of time
  • To communicate their understanding of benefits and disadvantages of canals

This investigation gives an insight into living and working conditions in the 19th century. It can be treated as a purely historical enquiry, or as a cross curricular study, linking history with science and technology.

By focusing on a specific, real disaster that occurred in the Black Country in the 19th century students can gain a deeper level of understanding of the social conditions and values of the time and the significance of social reform. This is enhanced through the study of primary sources and first person accounts, to create a relevant and meaningful learning experience.

Download Site Trail

Objectives

  • To interpret historical events using a range of sources, including historic buildings, landscapes, artefacts, photographs and primary source material.
  • To build historical empathy.
  • To develop historical enquiry skills by asking and answering historically valid questions. This will include questioning various perspectives of history, thinking critically and analytically, challenging assumptions, selecting and organising historically valid information and drawing conclusions relevant to the focus of the enquiry.
  • To find out about living and working conditions in the 19th century, exploring wider issues of social values and responsibility.
  • To make appropriate use of dates, terms and historical vocabulary to describe the passing of time.
  • To develop oral and dialogic communication skills.

Rounds Green New Colliery Disaster 1846

The Rounds Green New colliery was located on the slopes of the Rowley Hill, in Newbury Lane, Oldbury. It was accessed via a “skip” that was raised and lowered in a shaft by a winding engine, and used the traditional pillar and stall method of mining. 

The colliery was owned by George Parker but operated for him by a charter-master or “butty”. The Butty system was common in the Black Country and other mining districts in the early part of the nineteenth century.

On the morning of Tuesday 17th November 1846 there was an explosion at the colliery killing 19 men and boys and seriously injuring another 5. Four separate inquests were held, all considering the same evidence. As all the men nearest the explosion were killed, it was difficult to identify the exact cause of the explosion and the procedures implemented. However, Thomas Haines, the mine surveyor (and responsible for the air ventilation system) was interviewed, and several of the survivors including John Holland, the son of the “butty”. Several independent mine surveyors were also asked to visit the mine and inspect the air ventilation system.

All four juries reached different verdicts.However, the accident was reported nationally, and was instrumental in instigating the first “Act for the Inspection of Coal Mines in Great Britain” in 1850 and the subsequent introduction of mine safety regulations.

Students re-look at the evidence to see if they can reach a verdict on the cause of the accident; who, if anyone, was to blame; and how it could have been avoided. The downloadable investigation pack provides extracts from the original inquests and witness statements, as well as additional information about working conditions at the time and the life of key characters involved in the explosion. The visit to the Museum adds context to the investigation. The Museum’s replica mine experience is set at a similar date to Rounds Green and recreates the working conditions and methods experienced by the miners. Students can also visit homes of other miners from the Black Country, and a typical Black Country industrial village, to discover how the miners lived, gaining more insight into the impact that such a disaster would have had on the families involved.

You will undertake an historical enquiry into the impact of the Great War on British Society.

By investigating the Webb Family – a real family who lived in one of the buildings now located at the Museum – you will gain an insight into how the Great War affected the lives of a typical working class family of the Black Country.

It is 1918. Ernest Webb has recently returned on leave from the front line where he has been fighting with the 37th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps. During his two weeks leave he has married Mary Ann Griffiths.

The Webb family are not only suffering the pain of separation from a loved one. They are also experiencing the effects of the war on everyday life and work at home. 1918 is the year in which rationing is introduced and the Webb family, along with all other families on the Home Front, are coping with fuel and food shortages. But more than this, they are witnessing irreversible changes in society. The war is instigating great leaps in technology and medicine; it is giving women the opportunity to prove their worth and equality; it is breaking down the rigid Edwardian barriers in class; and it is introducing new state responsibilities for health and welfare.  

Download Site Trail

Objectives

  • To undertake an historical investigation using a range of sources, including historic buildings, landscapes, artefacts, photographs and archival material 
  • To develop historical enquiry skills by asking and answering historically valid questions, selecting and organising historically valid information and drawing conclusions relevant to the focus of the enquiry
  • To find out about key events during the Great War and how they impacted on society
  • To make appropriate use of dates, terms and historical vocabulary to describe the passing of time
  • To communicate their understanding of the impact of the Great War, its significance  and how it led to change