Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

This resource was created by Girlguiding Norfolk County's Archive Resource Centre.

Girlguiding has a rich and storied history and has always been at the front of supporting girls and young women to challenge themselves to learn new skills, undertake new experiences and fulfil their potential. This learning resource gives a brief overview of some aspects of guiding history.

Curriculum Links

  • KS1 & KS2 Citizenship: Preparing to take an active role as citizens | Breadth of opportunities.
  • KS3 Citizenship: the roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society, and the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities.
  • KS2 History: Changes in an aspect of social history (leisure and entertainment).
  • KS3 History: Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day (WW1, WW2 and Women's suffrage - see Guides at War chapter).


Discussion Ideas (World of Badges)

  • Look at the Tests for proficiency in the 1912 handbook. Does anything strike you about these badges available over 100 years ago?
    • Which badge would you want to work towards first and why?
    • What is the social history story of women of the time?
  • Would you be able to achieve the war work badge now?
    • What do you think the agricultural work would have included?
    • Which bits are really tricky and would be challenging for you?
    • What could help you overcome them do you think?
  • Look at the badges on the campfire blanket…can you deduce Aileen’s guiding history?

Activity Ideas (World of Badges)

  • Design a badge that you could use to challenge other classes in your school, including the actual badge design and the syllabus.
  • What could go into a syllabus regarding being a Guide during the coronavirus pandemic, and what would the badge look like?
    • A 'Living in Lockdown' badge was created during the pandemic. Research the syllabus for this - how does it compare to your ideas and design?
  • Look at the photograph of a shirt sleeve with old badges on it and try to identify them using the first handbook descriptions of badges.
  • Sew a badge that you have designed yourself.
  • Look up the syllabus of the cupcake challenge and do a clause (see Supporting Links).  


Discussion Ideas (Royal Guides)

  • Why is it important to keep old logbooks and archives?
  • How old was the Sandringham Guide Company in 2020?
    • What would be an appropriate way to celebrate their birthday?
  • Why could Princess Elizabeth not sleep under canvas during the war?
  • Why would Maureen need to be discreet about her time with members of the Royal Family?
  • Do you think it was right that the Princesses did the same jobs as the rest of the girls?
    • Do you think their time as Guides would have influenced how they carried out their royal duties as adults?
  • How would you feel if you were invited to join a group that contained famous people?
  • The Queen made her Promise as a Guide (see below); compare it to her solemn act of dedication she made on her 21st birthday or other speeches she has made (watch Pathe videos on YouTube). Does anything strike you about these?
    I promise on my honour that I will do my best -
    To do my duty to God and the King
    To help other people at all times
    To obey the Guide Law
  • Write a class letter to Queen Elizabeth asking her about her experiences as a Guide. (All letters to the Queen receive a reply!)

Activities (Royal Guides)

  • Guides love to do skits – plan a skit together to perform illustrating the royal sisters’ delight at being able to do ‘normal’ things.
  • Write a telegram to the Queen with as few words as possible to send appropriate greetings.
  • Draw a Royal family tree showing the members of guiding. Find photographs to illustrate the family tree.


Discussion Ideas (Guides at War)

  • What qualities would people applying to be part of the GIS require?
    • What different emotions might Guides embarking on GIS have felt?
    • Could you ‘make the grade’ to be a member of the GIS?
      • Why or why not?
    • Can you think of a comparative organisation today doing relief work?
      • Is this something you might like to do and why?
    • Compare and contrast how training for such work would have been in the past and today.
  • Try the challenges in the GIS activity pack.
  • Look at the photo of GIS Guides practising feeding many people in the field.
    • Approximately how many people are they feeding?
    • What would the challenges be in feeding this number of people in the conditions shown?
    • What do you notice about what the leaders are wearing?
    • What do you think they are cooking?
  • Throughout their history, Girl Guides have contriubted to fundraising efforts. What are some of the most effective ways of fundraising now?
    • Contrast this with ways the Guides have raised money. 
    • What are the differences and similarities?


Activity Ideas (Guides at War)

  • Look up the activities provided to help someone prepare for the GIS at (see Supporting Links) and have a go yourself or with a group.
  • Find out how much £120,820 is worth in today’s money.
  • Look up the locations mentioned on a map, consider how the group was moving and how long it would take, compared to modern transport methods.
  • Identify the equipment shown in the photos – what is it and how would it have been used?
    • How does it compare to camping and survival equipment today?
  • Is the name Sue Ryder familiar?
    • Find out what she did on her return from the war and why we know about her today.
  • Look at the Hunstanton logbook extract and answer the following questions:
    • How would you say the amount of money given to Norfolk war charities?
    • How much would that be today?
    • What would they have been clearing up in the churchyard?
    • What was the Burleigh?
    • What effect would having evacuees have had on the company?
  • Download the maths activity sheet based on the Hunstanton War Work Record.


Discussion Ideas (Brownie Uniforms)

  • What are the benefits and disadvantages of wearing a uniform?
  • How do guiding uniforms compare to school uniforms?
    • What about emergency services uniforms?
  • How should the design of a uniform be decided?
  • What do you think a Brownie (or school) uniform designed for the 2020s should look like?
  • Why should we learn about what people used to wear?
  • What are the benefits to keeping old clothes in a museum or archive, rather than just taking photos?
  • Imagine you are a researcher in the year 2100. Technology has developed beyond the internet and computers, and you can no longer access websites or digital files — the same way most people can no longer use VHS tapes today!
    • What could you learn about the 2020s just from the clothes people wore?
  • Would you take the 2013 Brownie Promise? Why or why not?
    • What do you think a Promise should include?
    • Design a badge to represent your own promise
  • Looking at the 1990s and 2000s uniforms, discuss why making your own choices matters
  • Is there such a thing as too much choice in uniforms?

Activity Ideas (Brownie Uniforms)

  • Try designing your own uniform and explain your design choices
    • Think about what materials it would be made of, and why.
    • What types of activities it is designed for?
    • How does your uniform reflect the present day? Consider fashion, but also current affairs, such as environmental concerns.
  • Use the Brownie Fashion Timeline Puzzle activity sheet and challenge individual or small groups of pupils to recreate the timeline in chronological order.