Education Resources

Free resources for teachers to use in the classroom

Want to use more primary sources in your classroom? From this page you can download free resource packs, all based on primary sources held in the Essex Record Office archives, for use in your classroom, along with background notes and suggested activities.

We would love to hear how you use these resources and what you think of them – both what works well and what could be improved – and what you would like to see us offer in the future. Please get in touch with us on

You can use these packs on their own or combine them with one of our workshops, which can take place at the Essex Record Office or in your school. Please contact us on if this is something you are interested in.


Victorian Children


There are three sets of resources you can download below to explore Victorian life with your students through real historical documents.


Victorian school photographs

This pack is centred around two sets of photographs of a school. The black and white photographs are from Victorian times (around 1900) and show the outside, classroom and a school photograph. These photographs are part of the Essex Record Office collection. The colour photographs were taken at the same school today (2017), following in the Victorian photographer's footsteps as closely as possible.

Victorian photographs - teachers' notes

Victorian photographs - PowerPoint presentation


Victorian school log book

Digitally take your students through the pages of this Victorian log book (a professional diary kept by Headteachers) and find out about school discipline, workhouse children and the teachers of this Victorian school.

Victorian school log book - teachers' notes 

Victorian school log book - PowerPoint presentation


Victorian Census

Use this PowerPoint to explore with your students what the Census is and what information it holds, including clues about the lives of Victorian children. Discover Census returns connected to Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale. Lighten up your lessons with some comments added to the Census that might make you smile.

Victorian Census - teachers' notes

Victorian Census - PowerPoint presentation



Essex at War, 1914-1918

This resource pack, developed with Shenfield High School, is aimed at secondary school students, and uses over 20 sources telling stories of Essex people and places during the First World War.

The pack includes stories of soldiers, nurses, women factory workers, Zeppelins over Essex, food shortages, and family life when fathers did not make it home.

It includes images of the sources along with background notes and suggestions on how they might be used in History, English or other classes.

The pack consists of a PowerPoint presentation and teachers’ notes, which can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Essex at War, 1914-1918 – teachers’ notes

Essex at War, 1914-1918 – PowerPoint presentation part 1, slides 1-19

Essex at War, 1914-1918 – PowerPoint presentation part 2, slides 20-50

This pack was produced as part of Now the Last Poppy has Fallen, a project investigating the First World War in Essex, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For further inspiration of how your students could engage with our First World War records you could also take a look at Discovering Sister Kate Luard's Story, a short film make with students from Shenfield High School.



Saffron Walden on the Map


This resource pack uses images of three key historic maps of Saffron Walden from the Essex Record Office’s collections to explore continuity and change in this historic market town over time. It can also be used to investigate how we can use maps as sources to find out about the past.

The pack is aimed at KS2 pupils, but could be used with older or younger students.

The pack consists of a PowerPoint presentation and teachers’ notes, which can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Saffron Walden on the Map – teachers’ notes

Saffron Walden on the Map – PowerPoint presentation