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How to plan a local study

Why study the local area?

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol - IoE number: 379208 © Mrs Joy Roddy, LRPSThe National Curriculum gives a clear indication of the educational value attached to studying the locality.

A study of local history stimulates the natural curiosity of students for the world around them and how it became what it is. It helps establish their identity and gives context to their life. It is good practice to start with the known and progress beyond it. A child's world is initially confined to their immediate neighbourhood and then becomes wider.Milestone  junction of London Road/Nevendon Road, Wickford, Essex - IoE number: 112420 © Mr Ian Wiseman LRPS

People from all cultures and social groups are motivated by sources that include local references. An image of a familiar building will provoke an instant reaction.

Local history is an ideal medium for developing thinking skills, giving students the opportunity to make judgments about events and issues that can be firmly based on evidence but may not deliver a right or wrong answer.

Planning a Local Study

The local study elements of the National Curriculum allow plenty of scope for you to develop a unit based on an aspect of your locality that appears interesting and challenging to you and your students. The schemes of work suggested by QCA can provide useful ideas and guidelines but, again, allow you to decide where your focus will lie.Marshall's Factory, Teversham, Cambridgeshire - IoE number: 468671 © Mr David Linton

Sources for a study of your own locality cannot be found in a textbook and have to be gathered from various places, including web sites such as Images of England. A visit to your local record office or local studies library will provide the basic sources required to piece together the historical development of your locality. Once you have copies of these sources, other material can be gradually accumulated. The questions that will undoubtedly be thrown up by the sources will take your study in different directions according to the age or interest of your students.

Follow any of the links below for more information on local studies and sources

Where the local study fits in : Local Study Planning Framework; Information about sources; Information about listed buildings; Case study

Please note that the inclusion of a listed building on this website does not mean it is open to the public.