Umm. . . I'm having trouble picturing British Urban Blight circa the early 1990's. The housing complex in Clockwork Orange or Prime Suspect: The Final Act are about all I can imagine. They were both more spread out than high rise. Is that a reasonable assumption, or are there high rise complexes in the London area for Underpriviledged Housing? I just need a quick scene of Dumbledore walking through one, but feel stimied.
Prime Suspect is about the right idea. There are some High-rise blocks in and around London but there are also estates where they're about 5 storeys high. By the 90's a lot of high rises were being pulled down. So the 5 story sprawing estates were built instead.
A lot of concrete, a few grass areas and a lot of grafitti. Generally in the 90's, although there were community projects trying to improve things, the estates still looked fairly run down.
A query: To what extent to British children in primary school study the American Civil War? How easy would it be for an interested child to learn more on the subject, particularly through historical fiction stories? I'm thinking of a child around the age of nine.
EDIT: Thanks for the help; I just finished a year of European History in high school, but barely any of that was covered when I was in primary school, so what you've said makes sense to me and I'm not at all offended :). I'll just have to find another way to get it in.
Okay, I'm 22 now and I dropped History when I was 13. (English schools have their options where they pick classes at 13, like at Hogwarts) This is just to give you perspective as the curriculum might have changed. Also, differant school's teach differant things... although they do follow a set curriculum and I don't think the American Civil War is on it.
I'm saying that because I never learned about the American Civil War. To tell you the truth, when I was 9 years old I didn't know anything about American history at all. We learned about Rosa Parks and the black/white segregation in highschool, but that was during Drama class, which was used to help teach us about worldly issues, as well as drama. I learned about the wars of England, like the Battle of Hastings, WW1 and WW2, but we didn't go into detail. (at age 9, I mean) We more learned about what life was like back then, rather than the whole sordid mess behind the war. Most of my history lessons as a child were spent learning about the Great fire of London, the Tudors, The Victorians, The Romans, The Vikings, Ancient Egypt- I think it was just an interesting subject for kids, so they taught it... We didn't really learn much about America at all. England has such a vast history of its own and that takes priority in English schools. I think we touched on the British Empire whilst studying the Romans, so I suppose America would have come into that, and maybe a teacher would have branched off? If you're looking for a way to fit it in.
When thinking how much we touch on it in primary school, think about how much you touch on the history of England, or the history of France, or the history of Romania, etc in American primary schools. America has such a vast history that there just isn't time to teach everyone else's history as well. (obviously highschool history lessons teach a lot more, but we never had a competent teacher and I can't remember a single history lesson in highschool, so I'm no help there.) I'm just pointing that out because I don't want you to feel offended that we don't learn your history when we're young. It just isn't feasable.
As for learning about the American Civil War, I'm sure that if a child asked they could find information in a history book in the Library. (I'm assuming they don't have internet?) I've never heard of a fiction story about the American Civil War though...
TO back up Pinkcess's answer, my kids are at Primary school now, and they haven't learned any American History. They have learned about the slave trade, but more in relation to British History (William Wilberforce etc). Generally the class syllabus will focus on one topic a term and this might be a country, but the countries are more likely to be India or the Caribbean because that's the countries we have the strongest ties with (colonialism, immigration etc)
They do have 'cultural days' where they'll celebrate other religions/cultures/ countries, though. So, for instance, the whole school would learn about Diwali in assembley, or (as they did yesterday) 4th of July.
Just to add a little more, I finished primary school... almost 5 years ago, and I can honestly say that I learnt nothing about the American Civil War. A child around the age of nine would be in year 4/5, and the only real instance in which they could potentially learn about that era of history is if they had an American teacher, or an American came into the class and taught them about it. Otherwise, I do not believe it's on the curriculum - although like Carole said, it could be taught in assemblies.
Otherwise, another way a child could learn about history is through extra classes? Extracurricular, which would be held after school or at lunchtimes, which would allow the child to learn about that. History Club, perhaps. It'd be an opportunity for this interested child to learn a lot more. As for historical fiction stories, well I've drawn a blank, sorry. :)
I think everyone has already covered what I would have said, but I just wanted to add a bit about how you might fit it in if you needed to.
There is a unit in primary history that involves learning about the life of a 'significant person.' As part of a move to tackle racism, schools might chose to learn about a famous person who had to struggle with racism in their lives. A look online showed a school that taught children about Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, both of whom lived during the American Civil War. If a class of children were particuarly interested in the subject, the primary school curriculum is quite flexible so a teacher could go into more detail if they thought the children would benefit from it. They might use it as a starting point in other subjects, for example, in English looking at non-fiction and fictional books and creative writing, or as part of drama or art projects, and so on.
Also, if there is a local museum that has displays about the American Civil War, (Bath seems to have an American museum, with civil war enactments) children might go on a field trip there.
I am in year 10 at a English school, and we have just finished studying the American West. All through Primary school we just really concerntrated on our own, British history, and this is the first year that we have looked at anyone elses.
We didnt so much study the civil war, as just American history over all, so starting with the Indians at the beginning etc. We breifly touched on the civil war, but not in much detail. We dont tend to look at other countries hoistory until we do important exams, for instance this year is GCSE year. So only when you take the option of Histoy (when you are 13) do we really study other countries.
The internet and the library are really the places you would go to learn extra history, at my school, we have never been given the option of extra history studies, although if there is a particulare question you wanted to ask, the techer would always help you out.
I would just like to back Russia up on her comment, as I am by the looks of things in the same position, I am in Year 10 and studying History, we got to choose if we dropped it when we were 14, not 13 like Pinkcess said. Also I am studying The American's and the Movements West, Plain Indians, TCR etc.
Well, you choose your options in year nine. In that year you will be turning fourteen, I myself didn't turn fourteen until after the school year was finished. So in year nine you're going to be thirteen/fourteen.
This is way off topic but I just wanted to clear that up, hehe.