Introduction to History
At East Dene Primary School, the History Curriculum develops children’s knowledge of historical periods, events and significant individuals. Children learn key facts and concepts alongside skills such as chronological understanding, how to analyse and evaluate historical evidence and how to compare and contrast life in different periods. We try to make learning in History as real and engaging as possible, with regular trips, visitors, wow days and by sourcing relevant artefacts.
To inspire and ignite the curiosity of the past and to help make sense of the world in which they live and understand how past events and actions have influenced their present lives.
At East Dene, our History lessons follow the National Curriculum. This has been carefully mapped out by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and history subject leader. History is taught in a holistic, engaging and real-life way. At least two History themes are taught each year in every class. A History learning question leads the theme for that term allowing children to be fully immersed in their learning. The history subject leader has mapped out the skills for each key phase throughout the school, this ensures that learning is sequential and progressive. We also have an emphasis on key aspects of history that are taught in every year group. This gives the children the opportunity to use these key aspects to make comparisons and links with previous periods of study and gives them the opportunity to revisit previous learning.
We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make. Enrichment and experiences, such as trips, visitors, artefacts and real-life experiences, are used frequently to support the teaching of history, this creates cultural capital for our learners.
History in the Foundation Stage is taught under the umbrella of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ from the EYFS. The children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that helps them to make sense of the world. The pupils are encouraged to talk about their families and the past and present events in their lives.
They are beginning to gain knowledge and understanding of the world through:
- Listening to stories and memories of older people
- Role play activities
- Discussing events in the past and their own personal lives
- Sequencing events to gain a sense of time
Key stage 1
In Year 1/2, 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.
Pupils will be taught about:
- Changes within living memory.
- Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally (for example, the Great Fire of London and the first aeroplane flight).
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some are used to compare aspects of life in different periods (for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong and Florence Nightingale).
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
In year 3/4, pupils begin 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 note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They begin to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They also begin to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Children are taught about:
- Victorian Rotherham
- The Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
- The Romans
- Ancient Egypt
Upper key stage 2
In year 5/6, pupils 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 note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They continue to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They also continue to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Children are taught about:
- Anglo-Saxons and Vikings
- Ancient Maya.
- Ancient Greece
- World War 2
At East Dene we enrich our children’s time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. We ensure that throughout the school year, the children have trips, visitors and ‘wow’ days, linked to their history. In addition to this, artefacts and real-life experiences are planned on a regular basis to enrich children and create cultural capital.
Examples of history trips that we have been on include visits to:
- Clifton House as part of a Victorian experience
- A stone age visit to Creswell Craggs
- The Jorvik centre in York
- Sheffield Museums
- Leeds Museum with a focus on The Egyptians
- Eden Camp to support the WW2 topic
Children also have a range of enriching experiences in school, including: analysing resources such as rocks and fossils, historical visitors sharing historical information, ‘wow’ hook days with costumes and real-life experiences, a VE party, Ancient Greece day as well as family learning days and many more!
Parent and carers help for students
Parents, you can help by talk about how places are changing and why they might be changing. Encourage your child to talk to older members of the family to find out about how their lives were different growing up. Help them to investigate the history of our local area: what has changed? What has remained the same?