This activity is for children 5 – 8 years and can be adapted for individuals with learning difficulties.

Learn how the past influences the present day and where evidence for this can be found.

They will experience hands on activities to reinforce this knowledge.

Which season is best for this activity?

Any time of the year. This activity takes place in three indoor spaces.

Learning objectives and links to the National Curriculum

In this activity the children will gain an understanding of how the past influences the present day and where evidence for this can be found. They will experience hands on activities to reinforce this knowledge.
The National Curriculum Programmes of study for Key Stage 1 History focus on:

  • changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.


To deliver a content appropriate to this programme, our objectives are:

  • To develop an awareness of the past and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods
  • To use sources such as artefacts and photographs (primary and secondary evidence) to discover ways of identifying these changes
  • To recognize and understand changes within and beyond living memory using people and places in their own locality.


Outline of Activity

1. The children have an introduction to the session by learning about Holly Lodge and its past.
2. The whole group will look at the garden mural and identify three old and three new things that they can see.
3. The children will look at photos and arrange them in a time line.
4. The class will then be divided into three groups and rotate between three tasks:

  • Having a go at the work of a laundry maid.
  • Finding out about the importance of the “Chymist” to poorer people in the past and practical experience of making pills using original Victorian equipment.
  • In the stables and yard they will learn about the old farm and the fact that the Victorian classroom used to be the pigsty.

Ideas for pre-visit learning

  • Ask the children to talk to their parents and grandparents about their childhoods
  • Have an older person into school to talk to the children about the changes they have seen in their lifetime.

Ideas for follow-up work back at school

  • Draw a picture of something you’ve done today (laundry maid, chemist, school children), label it or write a sentence.
  • Write a diary entry, a story or a comic strip for one of the people you have learnt about today.