Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Activity Ideas for KS1-KS3

Timeline (KS1/2)

Print out copies of the images of the exteriors of the Bishop Auckland store from 1911, 1920s, 1929, 1930, 1965, 1986 and 2001 (see Resources for PDF to download).  Working in groups, children can be asked to put the images into chronological order. For KS1 use fewer images and ask them to put them in  order from oldest to newest. 

M&S Bishop Auckland, 1911
M&S Bishop Auckland 1911

M&S Bishop Auckland, 1920s
M&S Bishop Auckland 1920s

M&S Bishop Auckland, 1929 site for redevelopment
M&S Bishop Auckland Redevelopment Site 1929

M&S Bishop Auckland, 1930 storefront
M&S Bishop Auckland 1930

M&S Bishop Auckland, 1965
M&S Bishop Auckland 1965

M&S Bishop Auckland, 1986
M&S Bishop Auckland 1986

M&S Bishop Auckland, 2001
M&S Bishop Auckland 2001

Discussion Ideas


How did you know which one was the oldest?

How did you know which one was the newest?

Which one is a photograph of how the store looks now?


Which is the oldest? How do you know?

Which is the most recent/newest? How do you know?

What clues did you use to help you decide how old the photographs were?

What has changed about the way the store fronts looked over time?

Are there any similarities between the way the store looked in 1911 and in 2001?

How has Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland changed over time?

The photos in this resource of the M&S storefront show a lot of Newgate Street, including the businesses either side.

  • What other shops or businesses were there around M&S? 
  • Through internet research (see Supporting Links) or by contacting your local Archive or Local Studies Library, could you find out what those shops are now? You may even be able to look at Trade Directories (old versions of Phone Books) to see what businesses or homes were on the street in the past. 
  • M&S was at 23 Newgate Street, what is there now? When did it move, and where did it move to?
  • The businesses neighbouring M&S seem to have been there for a long time too (McIntyres on the right and Midland Bank on the left), what has happened to them now?
  • Look closely at the store photographs and look online to see if you can figure out which building on Newgate was the first M&S store in Bishop Auckland, at number 23. Keep in mind that the street was renumbered, so nowadays it would have a different number.  
  • Is the original building still standing? Or has something new been built in its place?
  • Is it still a business or is it now a home?
  • What are the other buildings around it being used for? 
  • What shops are on Newgate Street now?

Create a presentation to share your findings as a group. 

Further questions for KS3

  • What can the answers to the questions above tell you about the Newgate Street area and how it has changed over time?
  • Try and find copies of maps of Bishop Auckland from earlier time periods (see Supporting Links) and compare the types of buildings and layout of the areas when the shops were originally there. How have the areas changed? 
  • Could you do some fieldwork research on the street to find out more? You could look at the architecture of the street and try and see which were older or original buildings for example. You could mark your findings on a map of the street.

Could you present your findings with maps you have made up of the area in the past, perhaps 1911 when it opened, and the area as it is now? 

Newspaper Reports (KS2-3)

The 1929 photograph shows the site which will become the new M&S store, but at that time it was still derelict. On the boarded up front a newspaper, the ‘Gazette’ is advertised. Write an article for the Gazette about the new store opening, add in interviews with staff and look at the 1930 photograph to see what it will become. You could try and find a newspaper article online to see what type of language reporters used at the time.   

School Log Books (KS1-3)

Read about the history of the Bishop Auckland store in the store history (see Downloads in Resources). Schools in the past often had log books, much like the M&S stores (this is where we have  found out a lot of our information about their history). 

You could start a school log book to record interesting or funny events. You could also create your own Newsletter (just as the stores did with St Michael’s News)  which collected stories about your school and any other news. 

You could keep your logbook with your older school logbooks (either in school or at your local archive). This would be interesting for anyone looking into the history  of your school in the future. 


Ordnance Survey – national mapping survey of Britain, produces regular maps of different areas and has done since the 18th Century.

Trade Directory – Business listings produced before phone books, these listed names and addresses.