• Why are fewer women remembered by history compared to men?
  • Did women play a less important role than men?
  • What did women do?

Herstory.York is listed on Yorkclio as a local source of educational material for primary and secondary school teachers. 

Here are some suggestions for how to use the website in the classroom:

HERSTORY.YORK Teacher’s Notes

This guide provides some suggestions for how to use the website in the classroom. The site was compiled from short biographies researched and collected by a team of women volunteers in York. It provides a rich and varied introduction to some of the lives and achievements of women ‘Change Makers’ active in the City of York during the period 1918 to 2018.

Please note: these resources have been prepared with Year 5 and 6 children in mind, although we foresee that activities could be differentiated to suit lower Key Stage 2 children as well.


Working with the resource can help meet some of the key objectives on the Key Stage 2 History curriculum, including:

  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

It can also be used to support some of the key objectives from the Key Stage 2 English curriculum, including:

  • Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction
  • Distinguish between statements of fact and opinion
  • Explain and discuss understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates
  • Provide reasoned justification for views


General ideas for using the website

– If you are exploring particular themes, the website has a free text search which should return stories that contain that search term. Some of the stories link together or provide contrasting experiences around a similar theme. You could use enquiry questions to follow a line of enquiry such as: What did women do?

– ‘History Detectives’: key facts are extracted from a number of stories and pupils have to find which story they relate to.

– During a laptop or tablet (or homework) session children look at the website to choose a ‘favourite’ story (or stories could be allocated by the teacher). Children summarise their story then present it to their classmates via a PowerPoint slide or poster.

– Children could carry out further research into one of the stories, e.g., by visiting a local museum or archive to see the original documents, photographs etc. that record it. There is now a Walking Trail – see website page.

Hot-seating: Children take the role of the individual in their story and are ‘interviewed’ about their experiences by classmates.

– ‘Saving Face’: this idea is based on the balloon debate concept and can build on a discussion about why not many women are remembered by history.

In groups, pupils are given four or five stories to consider. They are asked to imagine that only one story will be remembered forever and the rest will be forgotten over time. They must use their understanding of what they have read to debate as a group which story they would save. They work collaboratively to decide, providing reasoned justifications for their views.

Controversial statements: These are statements intended to stimulate discussion and to encourage pupils to use evidence to justify claims about the past. A statement is displayed on the board and pupils are challenged to use the stories on the website to prove or disprove it. For this resource, possible statements could include: “Women played a less important role than men.” –

Mimicking sources: many of the stories reference original sources, such as diaries and letters. Children could create their own versions of these, or newspaper articles or headlines about the events in them (the original source should be credited)

See also our page Educational Resources.