Why are you so angry Grace? Teaching and learning about Grace O’Malley as a significant woman at Key Stage 1

Alison Gove-Humphries, Paul Bracey, Darius Jackson

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Grace O’malley was an Irish queen in the Tudor period and her story provides insights about life in Ireland at the time of the Elizabethan conquests.(1) Grace, also known as Granuaile, was a trader with a fleet of three galleys, the only ones in Ireland at the time. Her story includes references to fighting with other Irish leaders, conflict with the English Lord Bingham and her reputed visit to Queen Elizabeth I together with notoriety as a pirate.(2) She was a strong woman who thought for herself. A study of her redresses any National Curriculum History imbalance in the study of the History of the whole of the British Isles, not only England.(3) Subject matter – complexity This subject matter appears a complex study for primary school children but we argue that everything depends on how the story is approached. We hope to exemplify this by showing how Grace’s life can be taught in an engaging way at KS1; this can serve as a basis for developing deeper understanding at Key Stages 2 & 3.(4) At KS1, there is the opportunity to explore the lives of significant individuals with a focus on national and international achievements. It also suggests there should be comparison of life in different periods through the lives of people from different times. We will expand on this later in the article.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPrimary History
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2013



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