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.
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 equally, and not to let any personal bias show. I think children should be told the facts and arguments, and encouraged to form their own opinions. However, as a revisionist by nature, I like to include all theories I come across, however dotty. Hopefully, by using the facts, kids will be able to tell these apart.
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 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 keep accuracy high!