The Charles Dickens Primary School Project


By Alan Parkinson, published 18th June 2011

For many years London South Bank University [LSBU] trainee teachers have been engaged in a wide range of mini history-led, cross-curricular projects in local primary schools, culminating in the students teaching lessons to groups of children. Some of these projects have been on different aspects of community history, including in-depth research into the history of local schools and parishes, the migration of many ethnic groups into the local area, and a case study into how the local community moulded the entertainment industry's first global superstar, Charlie Chaplin. These projects, we believe, epitomise the ‘creative' curriculum discussed in recent curriculum reviews such as the Rose Report and Cambridge Review.

A new project, although still history-led and cross-curricular in its nature but offering more opportunities for inclusion within the framework of the Literacy Hour, was designed for implementation during the autumn term of 2009. This scheme focused on an indepth research of the Victorian London with which Charles Dickens would have been familiar. Our aim was to encourage primary teachers in local schools to incorporate study and discussion of some of the great author's works within the Literacy Hour  framework and in wider curriculum provision, and to investigate his links with the local area.

Funding for this project, unlike the previous projects on parish history and Charlie Chaplin, was limited and this...

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