Living in the 1960s

Find out what it was like growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s through costume, handling objects, music and dance. 

This session can be booked Monday to Friday at 10.15am, 11.30am and 1.15pm.

Workshop details

1960s fashion, school, leisure, shopping and music are all explored. Discussion highlights the age of the supermodel, celebrity and well known fashion photographers. Pupils are encouraged to try on authentic 1960s clothing and take part in a catwalk. School life is also examined and pupils identify ways in which it differed from their own experiences through the use of photographs, discussing teaching and learning styles, examinations and punishment and experiencing an original 1960s desk for themselves.

Pupils are encouraged to think about what they do in their leisure time and how this may differ to children in the 1960s. Toys, television, the sci-fi trend and its links to the space race are all discussed and explored with handling objects such as an Etch a Sketch and Spirograph.

Pre-decimal currency, corner shops and Liverpool’s music scene are also investigated with a range of handling objects including a Dansette record player, transistor radio and Beatles wallpaper. The session finishes with pupils trying 1960s dance moves and an opportunity to handle objects, dress up and ask questions.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • Understand how childhood was different in the 1960s compared to today.
  • Understand that childhood has in some ways stayed the same since the 1960s.
  • Understand the role Liverpool musicians played in developing the sound of the 60s.
  • Understand that the 1960s was a transitional phase in British history.


Pupils will:

  • develop observation skills by looking for clues in objects.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.
  • learn to give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.
  • engage critically with evidence including photographs and handling objects.


Pupils will appreciate:

  • the importance of artefacts as clues to the past that help tell stories.
  • the reasons why the Museum has a handling collection.
  • that changing attitudes can lead to great social and cultural change.


Pupils will:

  • be inspired to visit the Museum and explore the 1960s links in galleries, including Wondrous Place.
  • see the Museum of Liverpool as an interesting place to visit.

Curriculum links

Key Stage 2 - History

In this session pupils will-

  • continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the period they study.
  • note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
  • address historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Pupils will be taught-

  • a local history study  - a study of a period of history (1960s) that is significant in the locality.
  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – the impact of a significant turning point in history – the social and cultural developments in the 1960s.

Key Stage 2 - English Spoken Language

In this session pupils will-

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give descriptions and explanations for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, questioning and exploring ideas
  • participate in discussions and presentations
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

Key Stage 2 - Music

  • develop an understanding of the history of music.

Fundamental British Values


  • Pupils join in discussions and express their views.

Individual liberty

  • Pupils are encouraged to voice opinions appropriately and listen to others.
  • Pupils make their own decisions about exploring objects, dressing up and are encouraged to ask questions and make comments.

Rule of law

  • Pupils learn that laws change over time, impacting on the lives of people growing up in different periods.
  • Pupils respect the objects and rules of the museum, understanding the need to follow rules for their own safety and that of other visitors.

Tolerance and mutual respect

  • Pupils develop empathy with people of the period through role play and exploring objects.
  • Pupils are encouraged to reflect on the feelings and opinions of others and  consider how opinions and attitudes have changed over time – for example the changes in freedom to make choices.