British Museum and TES announce the winner of the Huge History Lesson

Today, the British Museum and TES announce Coopers Edge School in Brockworth, Gloucestershire as the winner of the Huge History Lesson, which drew 100 short films and other submissions from schools across the country. The project is also supported by Arts Council England.

The Huge History Lesson is an initiative designed to encourage schools to discover the incredible stories to be found in museums, through their objects and collections. Coopers Edge School’s winning film focuses on a Hawker Typhoon airplane from the Jet Age Museum and the women’s war effort during WWII. The project challenged children at both primary and secondary level to develop and submit a creative presentation about an object from a local or national museum.

The Typhoon is of great local significance to Coopers Edge School, since the original Typhoon was built on their school site. Gloucestershire’s Jet Age Museum is currently restoring a Typhoon. The pupils, aged 7-11, decided to make their presentation in the form of a video, which included visual and online research, interviews, re-enactments, a visit to the Jet Age Museum and close study of their plane. Their prize was to tell the story of their object on and the British Museum’s YouTube channel as well as a unique behind-the-scenes tour of the British Museum. The children extended their historical investigations at the British Museum looking at drawings of women at work in WWII, by artist Ethel Gabain. They met curators and finally had a special ceremony where TV history star Dan Snow presented them with winners’ certificates, along with tea and a special Typhoon aircraft cake.

The winning video can be seen here:


To see the winners and runners up go to the TES website 

The Huge History Lesson, which was part of an initiative by TES to help millions of teachers make use of cultural resources, received over 100 entries from schools across the country. The submissions were judged by a panel from the British Museum, TES and Arts Council England. Commenting on the winning submission Susan Raikes, Head of Learning and National Partnerships at the British Museum, said: “The students from Coopers Edge School asked intelligent questions that drew on a variety of sources and worked very closely with their local museum, including interviewing people with first hand experiences. They looked at ephemera such as maps and photographs of the original factory site and mechanical drawings of the plane as part of their submission. We felt they had grasped the idea of object based learning and had used the Typhoon as a springboard to tell an important story, nationally and locally.”

A highlight of the film is an interview with Peggy Fisher and Phyllis Gough, who worked on building Typhoon aircrafts during World War II, on the very site of the school. The video revealed Peggy and Phyllis’ personal connections to the object. The students extended this narrative to better understand life for women and their local area during World War II. The students also visited the Jet Age Museum to see the Typhoon being restored, interview volunteers working on the project and explore the engineering behind building a Typhoon.

Lord Jim Knight, Chief Education Advisor of TES, said: “Coopers Edge School rose to the challenge of the Huge History Lesson brilliantly. Their choice of object unlocked a richness of learning and research that brought together drama, history, film and so much more. They captured exactly what we were hoping for in the Huge History Lesson - a broad learning journey stimulated by a single object in a local museum.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “The Huge History Lesson is a great example of how arts and culture can encourage creativity right across the curriculum. The initiative was launched to coincide with our Cultural Education Challenge, which urges all those working in arts and education to come together and offer a consistent cultural education for all. We will continue to work together with TES to help develop a range of tools that can help to encourage creative engagement across all subjects leading to a deeper engagement with learning.”

The British Museum, TES and Arts Council England would also like to congratulate runners up:

Lavender Pond Home Education Group on the Clapton logboat at Hackney Museum.

St Nicholas House School, Norfolk on the log boat at Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.

Chulmleigh Community College, Devon on the Tivvy Bumper steam train in the Tiverton Museum.

The judges also want to highly commend:

The Sutton Hoo poems and animations by Christopher Hatton School, London.

The Whatsapp conversation between an Athenian drachma and a pupil from Upton Hall School, Wirral.

Notes to Editors:

British Museum education

  • As a national museum, we have a particular responsibility to children and young people all across the UK to enable them to access and learn about history and culture through museum objects and expertise
  • Object-based enquiry and exploration are central to the BM’s approach to working with schools and are at the heart of all that we offer to pupils and to teachers
  • We share expertise with teachers, empowering them to use objects in their class teaching and work with museums local to their schools, as well as making the most of visits to the British Museum for students of all ages.
  • Digital opportunities, such as Teaching History with 100 Objects, now mean we can reach even more teachers and students throughout the UK and the world, taking our collection and expertise directly into classrooms in a way that was not previously possible.
  • Over 270,000 school children visit the Museum each year

Follow updates on the project via Twitter with #HugeHistoryLesson. Follow the Museum @britishmuseum and the Schools team on @BM_Schools

About The Huge History Lesson
This ambitious new partnership links the world’s largest network of teachers at TES with museums around the country. The Huge History Lesson is a unique creative competition designed to unlock the incredible stories to be found in museum objects and collections. The project is supported by Arts Council England.

The Huge History Lesson is part of an initiative at TES to help millions of teachers make use of cultural assetssuch as museum objects, exhibitions and archives – both physical and digital by bringing together cultural partners to develop enaging and innovative resources.Research has shown that the study of the arts and humanities boosts broader academic achievement whilst at the same time enhancing positive civic values.

Visit the website 

About TES
TES is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development. We’re home to the world’s largest online community of teachers with 8 million registered users and this network is one of the fastest growing of any profession globally, helping support, guide and inspire educators around the world. We host a dynamic global marketplace in which educators can discover, share, and sell original teaching materials; Blendspace, a lesson-building product where those resources can be freely integrated and implemented; and Wikispaces, an open classroom management platform that facilitates student-teacher communication and collaboration. In the UK, we provide a range of professional development opportunities for teachers (courses and teacher training), host the leading teacher jobs market and provide supply teaching solutions to schools. For more information, visit

About Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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