Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teacher's Notes

Resource provided by Leeds Museums and Galleries | Abbey House Museum.


A Global View

The Education Act of 1870 was a key turning point for children during the Victorian period. Also in this year, around 200 Indigenous People were murdered in Montana by the United States Army. Known as the Marias Massacre, this was one of many tragedies faced by the indigenous population of America after white colonists arrived and pushed west. In Europe, France declared war on Prussia (a former state in Northern Europe) and began the Franco-Prussian War, hoping to restore its powerful European status. Rome and other areas were also incorporated into Italy after the Pope surrendered to King Victor Emmanuel, ending well over 1,000 years of 'papal states' – territories which the Pope ruled like a monarch.


Curriculum Links

  • Key Stage 1 & 2: Design Technology
  • Key Stage 1 & 2 Science: Materials
  • Key Stage 1 History: Significant local historical events, people and places
  • Key Stage 2 History: Theme extending knowledge beyond 1066
  • Key Stage 2 Geography: Locational knowledge, Geographical skills


Possible Enquiry Questions

Download the Growing up in Leeds: Enquiry Questions document for a list of possible enquiry questions covering Key Stages 1 - 3. The document also includes information on consensus building and ideas for either a chronological or thematic approach to the topic.


Activity Ideas

  • Investigate a toy. Give small groups of children a toy to investigate. Ask them what they want to know about it to kick start enquiry based learning’ or ask them how it got into school today as the foundation for creative play or writing. Use comparisons of old and new, look at movement, forces and materials.
  • Make a visit to Abbey House to explore the Leeds Museums and Galleries toy collection. Abbey House also runs toy workshops on site.
  • Children in the past often didn’t have many, if any, toys. Make a toy from a limited number of recycled materials. What can you make from just card and string without using scissors?
  • Ask children to talk to family members and elders in local community about what growing up as like for them. Or, invite people into school. What questions will the children ask them? Did they grow up in Leeds or elsewhere? What did they play with? It can lead to higher level questioning and larger ranging debates about did they feel safe growing up?
  • Use the evidence above to think about how we know about the past. The Victorian accounts are documented by educated professionals and early photographers, not by the people in the documents and stories. Now, we use record people directly. How does this shape our view of history?
  • Leeds is committed to being a Child Friendly City that inspires and supports young people growing up. To find out more go to:
  • Watch the Yorkshire Film Archive films of: