This primary resource provides an opportunity to begin discussion about Guy Fawkes’s failed Gunpowder Plot and why we observe Bonfire Night on the 5 November. Who was Guy Fawkes? What was he caught carrying when his plans were foiled? Who was the King of England during the time of the plot?

Pupils will discover interesting facts about the planned attack on the Houses of Parliament in 1605, and the part that Guy Fawkes played in this plot in our National Geographic Kids’ History primary resource.

The teaching resource can be used in study group tasks, as a printed handout for each pupil to review and annotate, or for display on the interactive whiteboard for class discussion.

Activity: As a class, discuss what the children know about Bonfire Night. Have they been to any firework displays? Have they ever seen a bonfire with a burning Guy on top? Have they ever heard of the ‘Penny for the Guy’ custom? Ask children to research Guy Fawkes and his motives for wanting to plot against Parliament. Who else did he plot with? How did he get caught? Pupils could make a poster for a firework display taking place near their school, decorating it with different materials to create images of fireworks and bonfires.


N.B. The following information for mapping the resource documents to the school curriculum is specifically tailored to the English National Curriculum and Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. We are currently working to bring specifically tailored curriculum resource links for our other territories; including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. If you have any queries about our upcoming curriculum resource links, please email:


This History primary resource, this resource assists with teaching the Key Stage 1 History objective from the National Curriculum: 

  • Pupils should be taught: significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.


National Curriculum Key Stage 2 History objective: 

  • Pupils should be taught a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.


This History primary resource assists with teaching the following Social Studies Second level objective from the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence:

  • I can discuss why people and events from a particular time in the past were important, placing them within a historical sequence.


As a British values primary resource, this resource sheet assists with promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) in schools using the following OFSTED assessment criteria: 

  • It is expected that pupils should understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.  
  • Schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • Through their provision of SMSC, schools should: encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values.  

  • An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process 
  • An understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence


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