Around our School: Liverpool

Although now a suburb of Liverpool, West Derby is an old settlement and 'the village' still has its own identity. The study was introduced by looking around the village today and identifying the old buildings. Old photographs were used to find buildings and to start children looking at how things have changed.

The unit was divided into 6 lessons; learning objectives and outcomes were identified for each lesson. Extensive use was made of our interactive whiteboard for displaying maps and aerial views.

About the Case Study

Children from Year Two studied the history of West Derby Village, now a suburb of Liverpool, over the last 100 years.

"After having attended a local history course at St George's Hall in Liverpool I was really inspired to go back to school and try some of the ideas that I'd picked up throughout the day. Knowing that West Derby is of significant historical importance within Liverpool, I decided to undertake a project on our local area with the Year 2 class. I knew that some of the ideas from my course were too sophisticated for the pupils to access, so simplified things for them in order that they were able to get the most from the websites etc. We used local historical directories to find out about people who lived in our area, which was of particular interest to the children as they really enjoyed learning about the different jobs people used to do and how West Derby village used to look. We went out into the playground and studied the buildings in our locality and tried to decide which buildings were the oldest, and what features we could use to determine the age of the buildings. The class also did some research into the West Derby courthouse - and were particularly impressed by the fact that people would have been locked in the stocks for swearing!" Emma Coyle, teacher St Mary's CoE Primary

What we did

Lesson 1. Children were asked what they know about the history of West Derby. Which buildings do they think are the oldest? Which buildings are newer than others? Children were shown an aerial/map view of West Derby, which buildings can they identify? Which are older? Newer? Children shown Gore’s directory – what information can we get from this?

Children completed a piece of writing about West Derby village.

Lesson 2. Children examined Gore’s directory more closely, shown 1901 census record – what information does this show us? What do we think life would have been like for the families on Meadow Lane? What clothes would they have worn? What would they have eaten? What jobs did they do? How is this different from our lives? Looked in detail at one person; Robert Dilworth.

Children wrote comparison between now and then.

Lesson 3. Children were shown images of West Derby castle and asked what they can identify. Why do they think West Derby had a castle? Why is it no longer there? What was the purpose of the castle? Are there any features of the castle remaining in village? Where was it? Do road names give us a clue? Identify location on map.

Children drew the castle and wrote about it underneath.

Lesson 4. Children asked how old they think St. Mary’s church is. What is the significance of the church? What is its role in the community? Has it always looked the same?

Children drew the church and complete writing about it underneath.

Lesson 5. Children shown photo of Croxteth Hall – what is it? What do they think the building was originally intended for? Who lived there? For how long did they live there? How many people worked there? What jobs would they have done? What would life have been like at the hall? Each table was given a role and had to write about their daily life.

Class came back together at end to discuss everybody’s daily life.

Lesson 6. Class worked together to build a profile of West Derby and create a class map of West Derby in 1900. Pupils had to predict which buildings will not be there e.g. Somerfield and which buildings are the same?

Class created a map of West Derby in 1900.

Learning Objectives

Children will know:

  • That our local area has changed considerably over the past 100 years.
  • That some buildings have remained the same whilst others have changed.
  • That jobs, eating habits, pastimes and lives have changed significantly since 1901.