Resources for Schools

During 2017, the Faculty of History is running a trial scheme to provide resources that teachers can use in the classroom. As this is a trial, is it necessarily limited in scope and will only provide Key Stage 4 resources on global history, migration and empire.


If the trial is successful, the scheme will be expanded in future years.

History Teachers: get in touch with us!


We would love to hear what teachers think about these resources. Did you find them useful? Is there any way we could improve them? Would you like us to produce a resource on a particular topic? You can send your comments to and we will respond as soon as possible.

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Did universities bring development to British colonial Africa?

After World War II, the British empire was criticised as unfair and exploitative by African nationalists, the USA, and the USSR. The British government responded with a programme of colonial development that included in 1948 creating new universities in African colonies including Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. These universities have been debated ever since: did they bring development to the colonies, or not?


Key words: Africa, Nigeria, Empire, Identity, Liberty, Government, Ideas, Communication, Science and Technology

Why was British India partitioned in 1947? Considering the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah

In August 1947 British India was partitioned, ending three hundred years of colonial rule with the creation two independent nations: India and Pakistan (comprising West and East Pakistan, present-day Bangladesh). This resource explores the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and how he came to be revered today in Pakistan as the Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader).


Key words: Empire, Government, Ideas, Role of individuals in encouraging change, India, Pakistan, South Asia, independence, decolonisation, nationalism

Ayahs, memsahibs and their children: empire migrants

For centuries, Indian girls were hired by the wealthy British families to care for their children as nursemaids and nannies, called ayahs, and by the late nineteenth century ayahs were a key feature in British households in India. They were also a regular sight on board ships, where they were employed to care for and entertain their charges during long sea journeys, telling them stories, playing games and attending to their every need.


Key words: Empire, migration, ayahs, children, childhood, nannies, travel, ships, home, emotional ties, boarding school, women

Why were the Jews expelled from England in 1290?

In 1290, the entire Jewish population of England (about 3,000 people) was expelled from the country on the orders of Edward I. Answering this question requires us to consider both long-term changes in Christian attitudes towards Jews and immediate political circumstances.


Key words: Migration; Identity; Business; Liberty; Religion; Government; Economy; War

Boston King and the Black Loyalists of the American Revolution

In the eighteenth century, black soldiers played a crucial role in the British military. During the American Revolutionary Wars (1776-1783), British commanders offered freedom to enslaved people willing to turn against their Patriot ‘masters’ and join the ‘Loyalist’ army. Many thousands of the enslaved took the offer up, risking their lives for their chance for freedom. Boston King (c.1760-1802) was one of these ‘black Loyalists’.



Key words: Migration; Empire; Identity; Liberty; Survival; War; Religion; Role of individuals in encouraging/inhibiting change; Race; Slavery; Revolution; America; Africa; Sierra Leone

Wahuriu Itote (General China)

Wahuriu Itote, or General China as he came to be known, remains a highly controversial figure in the history of decolonisation in Kenya. Was the Mau Mau rebellion an anti-colonial, nationalist movement or an internal struggle within the Kikuyu community?



Key words: Empire, liberty, government, war, ideas, role of individuals in encouraging/inhibiting change, Africa, independence, decolonisation, Kenya, Mau Mau

Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Black Victorians and the future of Africa

Samuel Ajayi Crowther was probably the most prominent African involved in missionary activity in the nineteenth-century, but he was not the only one who played an important role in ‘spreading the gospel’. Who were the Africans that joined missions in the nineteenth-century? Why were mission societies initially so keen to recruit them? And what were these Africans thinking about the future of Africa?


Key words: Migration, Empire, Business, Identity, Liberty, Religion, Ideas, Role of individuals in encouraging/inhibiting change

Gerald of Wales: How did ethnic stereotypes influence the English invasion of Ireland?

In 1171, Henry II of England launched an invasion of Ireland. This was mainly prompted by Henry’s desire to limit the growing power of the Anglo-Norman lords who had begun to colonise south-east Ireland. This resource explores how negative stereotypes of the native Irish population were used to help justify the invasion as a civilising mission, in line with royal and papal arguments.


Key words: Empire; Identity; Migration; War; Religion; Government

Was Britain really committed to independence for its Middle East Mandates, or was the Mandate System just another form of empire building?

After the First World War, the League of Nations created the Mandate System which transferred legal control over certain territories from defeated powers to a victorious one. When Britain was granted a Mandate for Iraq, the government turned to Gertrude Bell to help create an identity for this new country. Gertrude Bell was the first woman to gain a First Class degree in History from the University of Oxford; she was also a world-class mountaineer, adventurous traveller, best-selling author, archaeologist, photographer, and worked as a British intelligence officer during WWI.


Key words: Migration; Empire; Business; Identity; Liberty; Survival; Religion; Government; Communications; Economy; Ideas; Role of individuals in encouraging / inhibiting change

Was the Gold Coast ‘decolonised’ or did Ghana win its independence?

In 1957 the British colony of the Gold Coast became the independent nation of Ghana. Did Britain grant Ghanaian independence or was this the result of the actions of Ghanaian nationalists, led by Kwame Nkrumah?


Key words: Empire, Liberty, Government, Ideas, Role of individuals in encouraging change, Africa, independence, decolonisation, nationalism, Ghana, Nkrumah

Did the Hundred Years War against France strengthen a sense of English national identity?

Initially, the Hundred Years War was not so much a national war between England and France as a dynastic conflict between two monarchs over a particular territory. The English government therefore used various methods of communication and propoaganda to persuade the population that war was in the national interest. This resource explores those methods, in particular how propaganda was spread before the development of communications technology.


Key words: Empire; Identity; War; Religion; Ideas; Government; Communications