How has Barking and Dagenham changed for the people who have lived there?

Through a series of five questions, pupils will learn how Barking and Dagenham have changed from prehistoric times to the present day. Each question has a PowerPoint presentation of information plus a series of supporting enquiries and activity sheets to help pupils discover more about Barking and Dagenham’s history and embed their learning.


Teaching ideas

By investigating the development of the borough chronologically, pupils will be able to look for similarities, differences and changes over time throughout the whole history of the area. They will gain an understanding of how the borough they live in today has been shaped, and continues to be shaped, by the place itself and the people who have lived in it.

Each of the following questions is designed to enable pupils to use enquiry techniques to discover for themselves how their local history relates to the national history of Britain. The Barking and Dagenham Local History Teaching Overview describes the specific learning outcomes for each of the activities listed below. You can also download our ‘Essentials’ for extra resources that can be used with all five questions, such as word mats, a glossary and much more.

Question 1 - Who were the first people to live in the area?

  • Barking & Dagenham during the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages Information - PowerPoint Presentation
  • Dagenham Idol – Archaeological Analysis Activity

Extended Task: What Dagenham Idol research activity

Question 2 - Who was Barking Abbey built for?

  • History of Barking Abbey Information - PowerPoint Presentation
  • Barking Abbey – Features of the Abbey Map Activity
  • Barking Abbey – Aerial photography Mapping Activity

Extended Task: What can you find out about the abbey's link to grain production?

Question 3 - Who lived in Valence House?

  • History of Valence House Information - PowerPoint Presentation
  • Investigating a Portrait – Fanshawe Analysis Activity
  • 1891 Valence House Census Analysis
  • Visit Valence House! Historical Leaflet Activity

Extended Task: What can you find out about Valence House’s change from
manor house to museum?

Question 4 - What jobs did people do in Barking & Dagenham?

  • Barking Fishing Industry Information - PowerPoint Presentation
  • Fishing Smack Document Analysis Activity
  • Barking Town Quay Analysis Activity

Extended Task: What places or streets can you find that have been influenced
by Barking’s fishing industry?

Question 5 - What have people made in Barking & Dagenham?

  • Made in Dagenham Information - PowerPoint Presentation
  • Women Demand Fair Pay Comprehension Activity
  • Ford Women Strike! Newspaper Activity

Extended Task: Can you find out about ‘The Barking Stink’?

Learning aims and outcomes

  • To learn about changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
  • To make inferences from archaeological evidence
  • To investigate aspects of local history and how it relates to a national story
  • To develop a sense of pride in where they live
  • To develop skills in chronology using timelines and historical information
  • To create reasoned and evidentially supported judgements
  • Establish clear narratives within and across the periods studied

Prior knowledge

  • No prior knowledge is required, all information is provided.

Extended learning and useful links