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Cross Curriculum Linkages to KS2


The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Abolition Movement are topics that can be very fruitfully studied by children at this phase, hitting a number of cross-curricular objectives.


This topic does not fall within a period or area of history normally covered at Key Stage 2. As clearly illustrated in the KS 2 lesson plans provided, however, the topic offers plenty of scope for developing students' history skills.

Chronological understanding

1) Pupils should be taught to:

a.  place events, people and changes into correct periods of time

b.  use dates and vocabulary relating to the passing of time, including ancient, modern, BC, AD, century and decade.


  • By studying a particular topic in depth, for example the movement for the Abolition of Slavery, students are exposed to events, people and changes of the period, and gain practice in using historical vocabulary and concepts within a fascinating context.

Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past

2) Pupils should be taught:

a.  about characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past

b.  about the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies studied, in Britain and the wider world

c.  to identify and describe reasons for, and results of, historical events, situations, and changes in the periods studied

d.  to describe and make links between the main events, situations and changes within and across the different periods and societies studied.

  • From this topic, for example the Transatlantic Slave Trade,  students will learn about features, ideas, attitudes and experiences very different from the ones they will encounter in modern life. They will investigate some of the roots of our diverse society, and be encouraged to think about the reasons behind a highly distinctive historical situation. They will discover the links between three sets of historical societies (West Africa, the plantation society of the New World, and 18th century Britain), each with their own characteristic features.

Historical interpretation

3) Pupils should be taught to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.

  • Students can be encouraged to think about how the slave trade was represented by both the supporters and opponents, and how this debate may have affected later views about it.

Historical enquiry

4) Pupils should be taught:

a. how to find out about the events, people and changes studied from an appropriate range of sources of information, including ICT-based sources [for example, documents, printed sources, CD-ROMS, databases, pictures and photographs, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to museums, galleries and sites] 

b. to ask and answer questions, and to select and record information relevant to the focus of the enquiry.

  • The site encourages students to collect information from a wide variety of sources, and to use it to build an argument. A key facility is the Museum Box, which offers a ready made way for students to store and organise information effectively, and the site itself provides a range of different kinds of sources, containing a wealth of information.

Organisation and communication

5) Pupils should be taught to:

a. recall, select and organise historical information

b. use dates and historical vocabulary to describe the periods studied

c. communicate their knowledge and understanding of history in a variety of ways [for example, drawing, writing, by using ICT].

  • The Museum Box encourages students to organise their information in a methodical way, so that they can then present it effectively.



The topic offers key stage 2 students excellent links to the geography curriculum, in particular:

Geographical enquiry and skills

  • There are opportunities to work with maps, globes and ICT resources (google earth, for example) to investigate the geographical scope of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Knowledge and understanding of places

  • There are opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of the natural and human environment of West Africa, the Caribbean and the southern states of the USA through this topic.



The site has strong relevance to several elements within the Key Stage 2 Citizenship/PSHE curriculum, in particular:

2 e) to reflect on spiritual, moral, social, and cultural issues, using imagination to understand other people's experiences

2 h) to recognise the role of voluntary, community and pressure groups

4 b) to think about the lives of people living in other places and times, and people with different values and customs

5 g) consider social and moral dilemmas that they come across in life [for example, encouraging respect and understanding between different races and dealing with harassment]

Strong links to the key stage 2 Religious Education curriculum are provided by the fact that the Quakers, Clarkson, Wilberforce and others were inspired by their religious faiths, to oppose what they saw as the injustices of slavery.





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