• 1. The sample was limited to schools in the English county of Essex. The considerable impact on participating schools meant that it was an opportunity sample (schools and their history teachers had to be willing to accept researchers taking precious time over a period of several weeks). Essex was, however, in many respects, a typical, if large, local authority, and the project tried to ensure that the sample included students drawn from the full range of socio-economic status and ability, and that different types of schools, curriculum organization and teaching approaches were represented.
  • 2. The ‘Peterloo’ Massacre took place in St Peter’s Fields in Manchester in 1819. The event was so named in mockery of the troops involved (a reference to ‘Waterloo’).
  • 3. The ‘Ranters’ were a group of religious radicals during the English Civil War of the mid-seventeenth century. They were notorious for swearing and inflammatory preaching (‘ranting’).
  • 4. There are exceptions to this pattern. Significance was understood as an attribution (rather than as fixed property of the past) in the 2007 English National Curriculum (QCA/DfES, 2007).
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