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9. Module 2: Introduction to ‘The Arcadian Civil War’

In this section you’ll come to understand the more complex aspects of a Dramatic Enquiry. 

Video Text 

Welcome to Module 2 of this course on Dramatic Enquiry. In this module we’ll go into more detail about the Dramatic Enquiry that you are going to do with your class – the ‘Arcadian Civil War’. You can access all the plans and resources for this project on our website.  

There are 6 sections included in this project. For ‘Fizziwig’, the students did not have to know much at all for them to participate fully in the enquiry. Just their own experience and opinions about the natural world was more than enough. So in comparison that enquiry was much shorter (and designed for younger students). 

For ‘The Arcadian Civil War’, the content is tied to real historical events (the English Civil War) and real artefacts from the period that are held at Newcastle University. Section 4 (the Dramatic Enquiry) is pre-faced by four sections designed specifically so that your students will get the most out of the project. Not only does it give the students a chance to enhance their historical knowledge and engage with real objects, but it also gives them useful context that would help them during the enquiry. 

Before you complete this module of the course you should have a look through the lesson plans and resources for the Arcadian Civil War project. Start with the Narrative Overview section for a detailed breakdown of all five sections. For this module we’ll be giving you some advice and things to think about as you deliver the Civil War Dramatic Enquiry. 

General thoughts 

If this way of teaching is unfamiliar to you, the amount of plans and resources may seem a lot to get your head around. Below is a quote from a teacher who took part in the first series of ‘Arcadian Civil War’ Dramatic Enquiries and had never completed a Dramatic Enquiry previously: 

“I think if you have not taught in this way before, you may look at the planning and be unsure how it will work. The reality is – it does work. And very well! I felt before we started that I wasn’t sure how the children would respond. However, as we worked through each session, it all started to come together, and the children responded as the plan suggested. You may feel a little overwhelmed by the planning and the resources as you may not be able to visualise what it will look like in practise but when you carry it out, it all makes a lot of sense, and the children respond as expected!” 

Year 6 teacher, Ravenswood Primary