Educational package to help pupils across the UK understand the journey to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement

The Northern Ireland Office, has today launched the second phase of a package of educational materials to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement which have been developed here at The National Archives alongside academics, educational and historical experts .

The initiative first launched in 2023, as part of a wider UK Government programme to mark this important milestone.

The materials include Key Stage 3, 4, and 5 lesson plans for delivery in school classrooms. The materials are designed to support detailed discussion and comprehension of the journey to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and align with the national curriculum in England and relevant CCEA GCSE and AQA A-level history syllabus.. Students will engage with materials, including digital copies of primary sources, about the Downing Street Declaration, the road to the Agreement, the negotiations that took place and immediate impact of the Agreement.

The free resources are available to teachers, parents and children across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK on an optional basis.

Teachers, and those who wish to use the free educational resources developed by The National Archives, can download the materials here.

Education has a key role in supporting and maintaining peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland, and it’s right that children should learn about the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement’s significance in an age appropriate, factual manner at school.

The first phase of the resources were launched in March 2023 and consisted of an assembly pack containing an animated video and accompanying resources to support discussions in school assemblies for all ages.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“Thanks to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, Northern Ireland’s young people have grown up in peace and safety, looking forward to a future of hope and opportunity.

“The first part of this package was incredibly successful and I hope this next part will give young people in Northern Ireland and across the UK the chance to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the Agreement now and for generations to come.”

Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives said:

‘This resource builds on the assembly pack and allows teachers and students to explore the history of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement using material from the original documents. It brings alive the issues, the people involved, and the decisions made.’