History Detectives - discover crime and punishment

Workshop title

History Detectives - discover crime and punishment

Key stage 2
Delivered at

Warwickshire County Record Office, Warwick

Duration 2 hours
Main focus

History, English

Workshop outline

Investigate original documents at Warwickshire County Record Office and tour the strongrooms where they are stored. A mixed collection of documents are available to be examined allowing for different learning styles and abilities; photographs, newspaper articles, court records, gaol records and police records. A highlight is the Known Thieves Album, listing known criminals with a photograph and details about their appearance and lists of their convictions and sentences.

Documents will allow you to discuss a range of themes with your class, such as living conditions in gaol, child crime, types of crime committed and the punishments given. The majority of the documents come from the Victorian period with a few from earlier periods. Pupils are given guidance on handling the documents and short exercises to help them learn to look and see the details in the source material.

You are encouraged to bring your own class camera to record details from your favourite documents to use back in the classroom.

Key skills covered
  • Chronological understanding
  • Drawing conclusions about life in the past from different sources of information.
  • Interpretation – talk about the types of written and visual evidence that exists in archives to tell us about the past.
  • Historic enquiry – comparing/contrasting information, identifying and analysing evidence.
  • Questioning evidence
  • Group working
  • Empathy with people living in the past
  • Comparison with conditions in the past to today
Booking information

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