History KS3 / KS4: How did the Royal Flying Corps contribute to World War One?

The Royal Flying Corps was established in 1912.

Joe Crowley looks at how the Corps needed amateur pilots to persuade the government of its value, with the first squadron set up at Lark Hill.

Recruits had to pay for their own fling lessons to begin with and had a mix of second hand planes to fly.

The First World War saw advancement in by-plane technology built with sturdier materials.

On April 1st 1918 the Royal Airforce was founded, combining the naval and army wings.

By the end of the First World War, the RAF had over 20,000 aircraft.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3

Students could be asked to list the challenges they think there would be in setting up an air force as part of the armed forces.

For example, whether it should be a stand-alone force or part of the army or navy.

They could then watch the clip and see if their opinions have changed or if they can add any more ideas to their list.

The clip could also be used to compare the air force at the end of World War One with the RAF today- to find similarities and differences.

Key Stage 4 / GCSE / Higher Levels

Could be used as part of a lesson about new technology and warfare in World War One.

Students could be asked to list all the uses of aeroplanes shown on the clip and then explain how these uses might help in the war overall, such as how aeroplane technology could be used to support soldiers in the trenches.

They could compare the use of aeroplanes to other new technology such as artillery, machine guns and gas to evaluate which had the biggest impact on the war.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also at 3rd Level, 4th Level, National 4/National 5 and Higher in Scotland.