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Learning Resources

British Empire

Resources to support teachers and pupils
British Empire

The British Empire is a contentious period of history that is coming under increasing amounts of scrutiny. As a key subject for your Key Stage 3 pupils study of ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901 section of the National Curriculum and substantial portion of AQA,  OCR and Edexcel GCSE specifications, the importance of this topic cannot be overstated.

We have designed the resources below to help your pupils learn, whether they are in the classroom or at home. They will also support and complement a visit. Click here to see our British Empire workshop page.

Download the Empire Teacher Pack (257 KB, pdf) for helpful information and tips on how these resources can assist in your lesson planning.


The Great Rebellion, 1857

Complied of  original sources, the events of the Great Rebellion in 1857 are depicted from multiple points of view.

Warning: this video contains outdated language at approximately 10:56 into the video and graphic descriptions of war that may be unsuitable for young children. Teacher guidance is strongly advised.  


Speech Recordings

Blood, toil, sweat and tears – Winston Churchill, 1940

The below recording is of Winston Churchill’s first speech as Prime Minister. He condemns the Third Reich of Germany and its advancements into Europe, whilst emphasising the survival of the British Empire and all that it stands for.

Speech excerpt – Winston Churchill – Blood, toil, tears and sweat speech -transcript (Word, 19 KB)

Excerpt from the Proclamation, by the Queen in Council to the Princes, Chiefs and People of India- Queen Victoria, 1858

This modern day recording is of an excerpt from the speech given by Queen Victoria when the British crown took control of Colonial India from the East India Company. This happened as a result of The Great Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Indian Mutiny or the First War of Independence.

Speech excerpt- Queen Victoria- Proclamation, by the Queen in Council, to the Princes, Chiefs and People of India – transcript  (Word, 18 KB)

Photo Banks

All the below images are from our collection and will enhance students visual understanding of the British Empire. Hover over the image to reveal more information, including a link to further information and more images of the object.

You are more than welcome to use the images in your lessons and other non-commercial education. If in doubt, please see our Copyright Policy or contact our licencing team.

The British Empire in India

Anglo-African relations

The Anglo-Afghan War

The British Empire in the First and Second World War



Learning packs and resources

Empire Teacher Pack (pdf, 257 KB)

Contact our communications team if you require documents in an alternative format.