The aim of History is to explore and think critically about the facts and opinions of people and events to gain a sound understanding of how historical events and significant figures have shaped the modern world and importance and impact Britain has played throughout these changes in time.
In line with the 2014 National Curriculum: History Programme of Study, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’ and ‘parliament’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
We are committed to providing our children with an exciting and positive learning environment, in which they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of themselves as well as the history of Britain and the wider World.
Benin Drama Workshop
As part of their ‘Maafa’ History topic, the children had a wonderful experience participating in a Benin workshop. The children were immersed in a variety of activities that expanded their knowledge and understanding of the Kingdom of Benin allowing them to explore a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history. Within the workshop, the children were told stories about the Kingdom of Benin, about how it grew, expanded and then eventually declined. Because of this, the children could establish a clear narrative within and across the period.
Local History Study
The children have continued to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of history, recently focussing on an aspect of history that is significant to their locality. The children explored the local area and discovered how Walsall Wood became a thriving village because of mining. As part of the learning walk in the localities, children visited the memorial of the mining wheel in Walsall Wood, as well as several monuments all dedicated and focussed on how Walsall Wood was a significant mining community. The children also visited St John’s Church, a place that was central to the growth of the community at the time when mining was having a huge impact on the local community (1874-1964) and studied a stained-glass window and a minor’s lamp. Both items are used as a way of both celebrating and commemorating what mining did for the local area and the significance it played in putting Walsall Wood well and truly on the map!
Recently, as part of their Britain at war history topic, children in Year 5 and 6 visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas. Throughout the course of the topic, and on the day of the trip, the children were given lots of opportunities to ask historically valid questions, consider causes and consequences, notice similarities and differences and also analyse and evaluate change and significance. During the topic and the trip, children were able to enhance their knowledge of the past – and how it is constructed – using a range of sources. By studying Britain at war – a topic that focuses on the First World War and the Second World War – children were able to establish clear narratives and further develop and strengthen their chronological knowledge of both world history and British history. The trip to the National Memorial Arboretum made the topic more relevant and meaningful for the children and was enjoyed by all!
National Memorial Arboretum
We are historians. Our teaching enables children to think like historians, examine and enquire as historians would. Exploring artefacts and sources children are inspired to extend their knowledge of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. By teaching in line with the National Curriculum as well as incorporating cross-curricular Cornerstones topics, children come to understand that History and specific events have influenced many aspects of our culture, beliefs, routines, and developments of today.
By the end of their primary education, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from Stone Age to present day. As within the History Programme of Study for KS1 and KS2. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified.
In EYFS pupils reflect on changes to themselves and their family.
Key stage 1- Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.
They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers introduce pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2.
Pupils are taught:
- Changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
- Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
- Significant historical events, people and places in Walsall and the West Midlands.
Key stage 2 – Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers combine an overview and in depth study to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.
Pupils are taught:
- Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
- The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons.
- The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
- A local history study
- A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – The Mayan Civilisation
- The achievements of the earliest civilizations: Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Rome– a study of Roman life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- A non-European society that contrasts with British history Mayan civilization c. AD 900
We use the National Curriculum Programmes of study to guide us on the content and focus of each objective to inform our curriculum. These units are enriched by cross curriculum work when appropriate.
Our experiences and opportunities for children to; ask perceptive questions, think critically, develop judgement and argue their beliefs inspire children to be curious and find out more about the past. It is important for us to ensure that all children are provided with opportunities to experience and visit sites of historical significance as well as engage with the wider community and visitors who can re-enact or relive their own experiences of past events.
Impact: We ensure that our children can begin to understand the complexities of people’s lives through changes in time. We strive to create a good understanding of the diversities of societies and how the relationships between different groups have also changed throughout History. Through a culmination of our Cornerstones Curriculum and our school values, children are given the opportunity to frequently think about their identity and how grateful we can be for the impact significant figures have had on the world we currently live in.
In EYFS, children begin to form the foundations for later work in history. Children have lots of opportunities to develop a sense of past and present, through lots of discussions. Children are encouraged to talk about their experiences of evets. For example – Christmas and birthdays using the language ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ ‘last week’. Children also examine appropriate artefacts (for example religious or household artefacts) or discover the meaning of old and new in relation to their own lives.