The Understanding Slavery Initiative (USI) commissioned the Learning and Skills Network (LSN) to undertake a study to explore and develop a recommended set of approaches for teaching and learning about the histories and legacies of transatlantic slavery for primary school learners: Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 (KS1), and Key Stage 2 (KS2).


A scope of existing resources available for teaching and learning about transatlantic slavery to primary learners, stakeholder interviews, museum educator interviews and visits to schools to carry out focus groups and workshops with teachers, parents and children provided the following findings:


  • Resources developed by Primary Colours and the USI web pages (the latter designed for KS3) were referred to as useful materials for supporting teachers and working with children at primary level
  • Resources were being adapted from existing KS3 resources for use at primary level
  • Resources for teaching about African culture appear to be lacking in general with teachers opting to teach topics like Egypt as opposed to Benin as a result
  • Schools sometimes make their own resources following teacher research on the internet
  • Teachers prefer the development of web resources rather than produced packs to the ability of the former to respond to change and be reviewed
  • Schools rely on visits from external experts and look to museums for support particularly in terms of artefacts and their expert knowledge
  • Some teachers suggested that it would be useful to work closely with museums to develop age appropriate resources –teachers talked about editing museum resources as they were not practical for classroom use
  • Key subjects in the primary curriculum such as history, citizenship, literacy, personal health and social education (PHSE), geography and literacy were seen as providing possibilities for introducing teaching and learning on transatlantic slavery...