The opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1825 changed the world. Inspired by the S&DR, railways were soon being built all across the UK, Europe and America. Railways supercharged the industrial revolution, brought in standard time, created mass tourism and brought about the growth of towns and industry. Railways and the inspirational people who built them, make fantastic teaching material, connecting local events and sites to national and international ones.
With support from Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme, The Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway commissioned a review of existing learning resources and together with our partners at three key regional museums at Locomotion (Shildon), Head of Steam (Darlington) and Preston Hall (Stockton), all of which are beside the 1825 line, we produced some exciting new Key Stage 1 and 2 activities and work sheets for teachers and educators. Tested out with the help of local schools, you can download these from the following links where you can find out about real local heroes such as George Stephenson, Timothy Hackworth and Edward Pease. We hope you will use these to help children develop a sense of pride in where they live, understand their local heritage and how it relates to the national story. They will also ensure that teachers are more confident in making effective use of local heritage resources in delivering the curriculum.
We would love to hear from you with your experiences of using these learning materials, and please do tell us about any other things that would be helpful and we can develop. You might also find our self-guided walk booklets to the line really useful in planning trips and outdoor class room events for students. They can be downloaded free from here, or hard copies bought from our on-line shop here.