Developing research techniques with your children is very important. Broadband has opened up a new world of information but this requires the development of research skills so that children can use the evidence with confidence and recognize the problems associated with making judgments. Developing critical awareness is at the heart of the project work suggested on this web site.

In recent years three broad levels of performance has been recognized as helping teachers understand how childrens understanding of enquiry can develop. The pattern of progression in enquiry is only a guide, much depends on the amount of guidance given, the structure of the enquiry and the difficulty of the sources and questions the children are given.

Developing historical enquiry:

Year 2

    observe or handle sources of information to answer questions about the past on the basis of simple observations

Year 4

    use sources of information in ways that go beyond simple observations to answer questions about the past

Year 6

    begin to select and combine information from different sources

Year 9

    identify sources of information that are useful for a particular task
    evaluate sources of information which they use critically to reach and support conclusions

We hope that you will find this pattern of progression useful to adapt, or reject, as a means of helping individual children progress in their ability to use clues, put together a story and offer simple explanations with an awareness that there are often different interpretations and views of the past.

Most of all we hope you all have fun ‘doing history’.