Local History Project Plan


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Transport your students back in time with an in-depth investigation into your local area and its history, and discover what made your community the place it is today. By Jane Jones and the team at Creative Teaching and Learning.

We all want the pupils in our care to become responsible, confident, critical and informed members of society. The study of where we come from and the history of our locality makes a vital contribution to this, enabling pupils to acquire knowledge and concepts while also developing important skills and attitudes.

See the description and project overview below for more information.

Format: ZIP download


The local area for any pupil across the country, and indeed the world, provides a rich source of information for historical investigation. The exploration of the immediate environment will reveal instances in which the people in the past have shaped elements of the present surroundings through settlement, farming, building, industrialisation and other activities.

The influence of the past is not confined to the physical and material world however. History can also reveal how our sense of identity – on a personal level and as a member of family, national and other communities – has been shaped by the cultural and social experiences of many different people in the past. Perhaps most important of all, history can help our pupils to begin to explore how people’s interpretations of the past can exert a powerful influence on their attitudes, beliefs and actions today.

For the purpose of this project, we have used a local legend from the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, the legend of Pennard Castle, as a ‘way in’ to developing a local history project. Local myths and legends provide a link to the history around us. They engage students with their local environment and fire up their imaginations. Of course, the legend of Pennard Castle will not be relevant to everyone – the activities associated with this text have therefore been designed to allow easy adaptation to any myth, legend or folktale from your own local area.

As your students progress through the activities in this project, they will build a detailed, although by no means complete, picture of their local area. They will use maps, photographs, trade directories and old advertisements. They will learn how their local high street has changed and developed over the years. They will discover how people – perhaps their own ancestors – lived, learned and worked.

The Local History Project Plan includes instructions, activity sheets, information factsheets, research resources and images to support the lesson plans and activities, suitable for Key Stages 2-3.

Project Overview

‘The Legend of Pennard Castle’ text
A welsh legend complete with warriors, a princess and a faerie curse, designed as a ‘way in’ to exploring local history. Available as a pdf (found in ‘Project Plan: Investigating local history’) and as a separate word document (formatted to make mass printing easier and more cost effective).


Image Bank
A compilation of images to accompany ‘The Legend of Pennard Castle’.


Activity 1: Making predictions about the text
Activity 2: Reading the text
Activity 3: Summarising information
Activity 4: Where and when am I?
Activity 5: What shall we investigate?
Activity 6: Where do we start?
Activity 7: Class timeline
Activity 8: Using census returns
Activity 9: Using maps
Activity 10: The high street


Our place in history
A selection of websites and online sources to get you and your students started on a journey into your hometown’s history.


The resource packs that accompany each activity include detailed instructions, worksheets, information factsheets, research resources, images and more.


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