History KS1 / KS2: Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry tells the story of her life and how she reformed Newgate prison.

It is told in the first person, and brought to life with a mix of drama, movement, music and animation.

We see the moment she attended a Quaker meeting and heard the words of preacher William Savery, urging the congregation to do good with their lives.

Determined to do good herself, she visited Newgate Prison and, appalled by the conditions there, set out to change things.

She taught the children and sewed their clothes for them.

Elizabeth's actions led to the reform of the prison system across the country.

This clip is from the series True Stories.

Teacher Notes

Students could approach the information about Newgate prison from the perspective of Elizabeth Fry.

What would she think were the main problems facing the inmates of the prison?

It is important to bear in mind her own background and beliefs as well as the more general issues related to the conditions in Newgate.

What lasting effect did Elizabeth Fry have on penal reform?

What conditions do inmates live under today and what privileges do they enjoy?

Curriculum Notes

This clip would be relevant for teaching History at KS1 and KS2 in England and Northern Ireland, Foundation Phase in Wales and First and Second Level in Scotland.

More from True Stories:

Grace Darling
Rosa Parks
Thomas Barnardo
Alexander Graham Bell
Florence Nightingale
Harriet Tubman
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Mary Anning
Edward Jenner