Age 9 to 11 (KS2), Age 11 to 14 (KS3)
Citizenship, History, Media Studies
Battle of Britain, Home Front
Session notes for teachers
Please ensure you read the session notes for Documentary Challenge ahead of your visit.
Terms and Conditions
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About this session
Through this digitally–led experience, students develop historical inquiry skills to question, consider, debate and evaluate primary sources, while also gaining a deeper understanding about the impact of war and conflict on people’s lives in the past, and its relevance in society today.
This activity will take place in Hangar 4: The Battle of Britain.
Documentary Challenge allows active exploration of the History curriculum in relation to real historic artefacts within IWM. Through making their mini-documentaries, students will:
- Use primary sources as evidence to construct, illustrate and present an argument
- Develop communication and presentation skills through filmmaking
- Deepen understanding about the impact of conflict on people’s lives in the past and relevance to society today.
National Curriculum Links
- Key Stage 2 History: A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 (for example, the Battle of Britain)
- Key Stage 3 History: Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
‘An incredible way for students to learn. The opportunity to explore, be creative, make choices, voice their thoughts and do so with the rigidness of having to know an examiners mark scheme. Teachers crave being able to support students in learning this way. A wonderful experience!’ – Key Stage 3 Teacher
‘A thoroughly 21st century learning event which genuinely helps to develop historical and deeper understanding of the past.’ – Key Stage 3 Teacher
Created by digital theatre-makers Non Zero One | Commissioned by Imperial War Museums
What is Documentary Challenge?
Hi, I'm Reena Mehmet, Commissioning Editor at SMASH TV, and I want you to give me your ideas for new documentaries on conflict.
There are museums all over the country just full of stories waiting to be put in front of my viewers faces. I need you to hit the museum and work as a team to record short documentaries to give us new perspectives, tell us new stories, and help us realise what history can tell us about the world we live in today.
In order to do this, you’re going to need facts, you’re going to need analysis, you’re going to need well-reasoned arguments. Interpreting history is a skill, but making documentaries is an art. Now get out there and show me what you've got. I'll be waiting.
Documentary Challenge takes students out of the classroom and into IWM’s galleries to explore objects and tell those stories in their own words. Briefed by Reena, a filmmaker for SMASH TV, students are given smart-cameras and tasked with making mini documentaries on the people and objects they feel the world needs to know about.