I finally reached my snapping point around three years ago, putting up a poster on Roman Britain for my kids. One bullet point caught my eye. It said ‘a century consisted of 100 men’. It was an inconsequential mistake – a schoolboy error – but it represented the cavalier manner in which history is taught to children. Children, wide-eyed, ready to learn and believe, are being force fed these mistakes by tired, stressed and overworked teachers following what the curriculum tells them. Interest in history is kept alive instead by the likes of the Horrible Histories team, who focus on the minutiae and gloss over key issues.
So this website is the result of the snap: it is my attempt to provide information on all aspects of British history (and prehistoryThe time in the past that happened before history began to be recorded.), that is accessible to children yet doesn’t ‘dumb down’ the information or the ideas. Kids can be clever, when given the chance. I think we should treat them as such. But this site is more than just a resource for children, and I hope it will appeal to all people who are curious about what happened it our past, why, and how it affects us now.
The discipline of history is alive with debate, and I have tried to incorporate the main ideas from each side wherever possible, as well as including the key facts, dates and figures. I have tried to present all sides of a debate, although occasionally my own revisionism shows through. Yet I also hope people will use the information found here to form their own ideas; one of the best things about history is the scope for debate. There's a reason why the collective noun for historians is an 'argumentation'.
Each article includes key facts and people to help introduce the topic, with links to other relevant information where available, and I have included a glossary for ease of comprehension - just mouse over the word highlighted in red. More detailed information, a few tangents, and references for direct quotations are scattered throughout articles and are indicated through the information icons. I also think that history is best understood through independent research, both book-based and through experience. I have therefore included ideas for tasks, visits, and further reading, as well as discussion points, which I hope can inspire adults as much as children.
Above all, I have tried to stop my writing being dry, whilst keeping accuracy high!