Lesson plans

Lesson plan: Focus on archives

Learning objectives

This lesson is designed for secondary school students in years 7 - 13, tasks can be adapted to suit different year groups. It's designed to be 60 minutes although it can be adapted. 

Lesson objective: To understand what an archive is, develop awareness of potential roles within the sector and experience a simulated workplace-style challenge


  • To understand what an archive is and does
  • To understand the range of different roles in an archive and what they might entail
  • To ‘try out’ a workplace task and reflect on the skills needed

Curriculum links:


KS3 – Spoken English

  • Using Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion
  • Giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point
  • Participating in formal debates and structured discussions, summarising and/or building on what has been said

KS4 – Spoken English

  • Listening to and building on the contributions of others, asking questions to clarify and inform, and challenging courteously when necessary
  • Planning for different purposes and audiences, including selecting and organising information and ideas effectively and persuasively for formal spoken presentations and debates

Numeracy: Statistics

Gatsby benchmarks:

  • Benchmark 2 - Learning from career and labour market information.
  • Benchmark 4 - Linking curriculum learning to careers

Lesson planner, slides and accompanying worksheets

Click on the links to download the lesson plan, slideshow and worksheets for this lesson. 

Additional resources

Watch the on-demand recording of our industry insight event: Focus on archives and museums, hosted by The National Archives

Watch our range of industry insight films featuring workplaces and professionals across the museum, archive, galleries and heritage sectors

Find out more about careers in archives:

The National Archives

Archives and Records Association

Explore apprenticeships in archives

As the official archive and publisher for the UK government and for England and Wales, The National Archives is the guardian of some of our most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. The National Archives also fulfils a leadership role for all archives in England. Find out more.