The online education team at The National Archives offers an exciting educational resource in Spotlight On – a series of video guides. Designed to tie in with the history curriculum for Key Stage 3-5, these guides are a helpful tool for researchers, students, and anybody interested in learning more about The National Archive’s collections.
The Spotlight On series has covered topics ranging from the iconic Domesday Book to 20th century photographs from the Copyright Office collection, with more videos still to come in the build up to the new academic year. Topics yet to be covered include the Prime Minister’s Office and the King’s Bench, linking to curriculum areas from Margaret Thatcher to Charles II.
For example, one video focuses on the SP1 records series from the State Papers collection, which is made up of documents from King Henry VIII’s reign. Medieval Records Specialist Sean Cunningham explains the history behind one of the files in this series, a rebellion ballad addressed to the king in 1536-7. Sean Cunningham says “It was written by a friar called John Pickering. He was one of the leaders of a rebellion against Henry VIII in the north of England called the Pilgrimage of Grace.”
Clare Horrie, The National Archives’ Education Web Manager, says the videos “explain what is contained in a particular collection at the National Archives and highlight a fascinating document which links to the history curriculum. They provide archival education in a nutshell which is both lively and engaging!”
Each video has a set of questions relating to the collection, as well as the individual records shown in the video. The resource packs work well in the classroom as they contain both tasks for students and helpful resources for teachers, such as a list of related resources on The National Archives website and a page explaining connections to the academic curriculum.