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Leicester Special Collections

Learning Resources

An aim of our exhibition is to bring Mary Attenborough's story to the attention of as wide a public as possible, including a wider demographic of age groups. For this purpose, we have developed a Key Stage 2 activity pack - 'Mary Attenborough Fact File' - to encourage 7-11 year olds to engage with Mary's story. This will be of particular relevance to local Leicester schools.

Guidance for Teachers

The pack contains a 'Mary Attenborough Fact File' for the children to read, which details facts about Mary's life. The sections of the 'Fact File' are based on the exhibition sections. As this may be the first introduction these KS2 pupils have to sensitive historical topics like the Holocaust, the exhibition has been presented in this activity pack to make it age appropriate. Teachers then have the option, if they judge it suitable for their pupils, to use the online exhibition to introduce more depth. 

Activity Pack Sections

  1. Mary Attenborough Fact File
  2. Activity One: Questions
  3. Activity Two: Into the Arms of Strangers: Understanding Refugee Crises
  4. Activity Three: Make Your Own Little Theatre
  5. Activity Four: Donations to Charities.

Activity One: This is a set of comprehension questions based on the 'Mary Attenborough Fact File'. After reading the 'Fact File' pupils can work through the questions, the answers to which can be found in the text.

Activity Two: This section is divided into subsections. It includes two fact files: Basque Refugees Fact File and Helga and Irene Bejach Fact File. Accompanying these are five activities. This is the largest section of the workbook, because we want to strongly encourage pupils to engage with Mary's humanitarian work, befitting the University's role as a 'University of Sanctuary' and Leicester's status as a 'City of Sanctuary'. Due to the sensitivity of these historical topics, teachers can decide whether their pupils will engage with all five activities in this section, or just a few of them.

Activity Three: To engage children with Mary's work with Leicester Drama Society (LDS) and The Little Theatre, they are asked to work in groups to devise a short play, based on an aspect of Mary's life that they have learnt about from the 'Mary Attenborough Fact File', or about the humanitarian work covered in Activity Two. Teachers can decide whether this is a short task they will devise and perform within the space of one lesson, or an activity that can be extended to multiple lessons.

Activity Four: As part of our exhibition we are encouraging our audience to engage with the type of work Mary was involved in. Children are encouraged to share what they have learnt with their parents/carers and to consider as a household whether they would like to get involved in LDS and The Little Theatre, or donate to charities.

National Curriculum

The activity pack relates to two areas of the National Curriculum: History and Citizenship.

History: Of particular relevance to pupils from Leicester schools, this will introduce them to a historical topic (in this case a historic figure) significant to their locality. In addition to the local relevance, Mary's story provides links to national and international history, including the Spanish Civil War, WWII, the Holocaust and Kindertransport.  Finally, the significance of refugees within this story will help children to understand the current refugee crisis and the challenges of this in today's society.

Citizenship: The Basque refugees and Kindertransport can be used as an introduction to issues of racism and discrimination, in particular anti-Semitism. This can help pupils understand the negative consequences that bullying behaviour can have on individuals, communities, and religious and ethnic identities. Again, this can help pupils to gain an understanding of today's refugee crisis, which they may come across as they become aware of current events.

Accessing the Activity Pack

Please download the activity pack from the bottom of this page. It can be downloaded in either PDF or Microsoft Word format. The above 'Guidance for Teachers' can also be downloaded.

There is space for pupils to write underneath some of the activities, but additional paper will be required for some of the longer activities.