M&S Making a Mark - Flora Solomon

Discussion ideas

This page suggests ways in which old and new images can be used with different subjects, as prompts for classroom and homework activities.

KS2/3 PSHE
  • What do we do today to get fit or stay fit, and where do we do this? 
  • How important is it for there to be an eating place where people work? In the 1930s it was important because people were so 'hard up' they were hungry, but what are the advantages and disadvantages today of providing subsidised food? 
  • How do you think employment conditions have changed since 1938?
  • What do employers now have to provide in the workplace by law?
  • Compare working conditions for people in Victorian times, in the 1950s and now. How could you find out about working conditions today?
  • How do you think the Forces Bulletin helped M&S staff when they were serving in the Second World War?
  • What were the possible risks to M&S as an employer in offering to take back staff after the War? Why do you think they were prepared to take these risks?

KS2/3 Citizenship

  • Flora was probably reflecting a feeling of the times in 1934 when she talked about teams rather than individuals. What was beginning to happen in Europe around this time that would bring together Jewish people to think about their communities rather than individuals? 
  • What is the difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker?
  • Where are refugees fleeing from today and to which countries do they try to seek refuge?
  • What activities or interests make you feel like you 'belong' to something?
  • What is the OBE? Find out what this means.
KS2/3 Enterprise - Business Studies
  • Why do you think Simon Marks took notice of Flora Solomon when she suggested that changes were needed to M&S staff welfare?
  • What would be the value of sixpence today? Use the link below to help you find out.
  • What is a 'Stock Market'? How does it work? How do people make and lose money? How different is it from gambling?
  • What is d the symbol for in the amount of money mentioned in the letter?
  • If you were writing a questionnaire, what types of words would you use to get as much response as possible, rather than 'yes' or 'no' answers?

KS3 Art & Design/ICT

  • What do you notice about the swimming costumes in this photo? What kind of fabric do you think they were made from? Would they be comfortable?  
KS2/3 History
  • Why do you think holiday camp and camping holidays were popular in the 1930s?
  • How have holidays changed since then?
  • What causes an economic depression? Use the link below to see how it applied to America in the 1930s.
  • Can you think of a historical situation that involved a catalyst? Think about the major conflicts of the 20th Century.
  • It was unusual in 1938 for women to work after they married, but which event might have caused this to change and why?
  • How do you think 'social hardship and poverty' was different in 1946 from the present-day? 
  • In the picture there is a sign saying 'Register here for cheese and preserves'. What do you think that means?
  • Why might people not work - in the 1930s and today? Are the reasons different?
  • How are people supported today if they have no work or are not able to work? Find out if there was any support for people who didn't have jobs in the 1930s.



 
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