Who, how, why do we remember?

Who, how, why do we remember encourages pupils to look at the statues, monuments and memorials that fill our public spaces. They will look at who is, and equally importantly, who isn’t recognised in our public spaces.

The accompanying PowerPoint breaks this down into distinct categories including difficult histories, ethnic diversity, women and disability representation amongst others.


Teaching idea

Students start by thinking about the term 'immortalised' and what it means to be remembered. They then look at the most common types of memorial currently found it England. This will help them understand how our national stories and local tales come together to create identity and leave a legacy for the future. However, this legacy should always be questioned. To this aim students are encourage to look for the gaps - who is and isn't represented?

By looking at the past, present and future of memorials students develop their own understanding of our shared public spaces and how they can help to shape them in the future.

Learning aims and outcomes

  • To encourage students to investigate the reasons why monuments and memorials are put up and to think about their purpose
  • To develop students’ critical thinking skills and to help them reflect on the reasons decisions were made by people in the past by exploring the background to those decisions
  • To help students to understand, contemplate and develop their own emotional responses to statues, monuments and memorials
  • To enable students to use a range of sources to learn about their past, help them understand the present and reach decisions for themselves

Prior knowledge

  • An understanding that people in the past have been remembered for their achievements