“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana
History develops an awareness of the past and present and ways in which these change. The National Curriculum programmes of study for Key Stages One, Two and Three contain key elements that are closely related and which consolidate key skills.
Our aims are:
- To introduce children to the past.
- To establish a sense of time.
- To encourage the investigation of change and continuity.
- To understand cause and effect.To foster an empathy with people and events of the past.
- To develop an appreciation of human achievements, aspirations and values.
- To develop the use of historical sources.
- To develop understanding of interpretations of history.
- To provide opportunities for first hand experience through fieldwork, role-play and use of artefacts.
- To communicate clearly, employing a wide range of media.
- To provide children with a framework in which to place major issues and events in the history of their own country and of the world.
- To develop memory and thinking skills, including the use of mind-maps, to consolidate understanding of links between factors.
During the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One the children also become accustomed to handling artefacts and analysing sources. Stories from a variety of historical periods and different cultures are a main focus. The children are asked to compare and give reasons for differences. A range of ways of recording and communicating are adopted.
During Key Stage One and Two different periods of History are placed in a chronological framework. The children are taught about characteristic features of different societies, enabling them to describe and identify reasons for, and the results of, historical events. The children will be encouraged to ask and answer questions about the past, communicating their awareness in a variety of ways, including structured narratives and descriptions.
Pupils use their factual knowledge and understanding of the history of Britain to make links between features within and across periods. Pupils in Key Stage Two describe and begin to explain different historical interpretations of events, people and changes. They evaluate sources of information to produce structured work, making appropriate use of dates and terms. Cross-curricular links are exploited whenever suitable.
During Year Seven and Eight, pupils commence the I.S.E.B. 13+ Common Entrance Syllabus. This course is based upon Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum. Pupils study the period “1500 -1750: The Making of the United Kingdom” in depth across the two years. Pupils examine people’s actions and evaluate sources of information, which they use to reach and support conclusions, making appropriate use of dates and terms. Discursive writing, revision and examination techniques are taught as part of the syllabus.
Homework is used to support history through tasks such as:
- Bringing artefacts from home into school for display and discussion.
- Reinforcing work begun in the classroom.
- Visiting museums of historical sites.
Teachers assess pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills from their own written work and verbal answers to questions. At the Foundation Stage children are assessed as part of the Foundation Stage Profile. Assessment tasks are set at the end of each topic in Year One to Four, in order to evaluate knowledge learnt and the development of historical skills. These tasks are based on National Curriculum outcomes and levels. In Years Five and Six children are asked to write a response to issues related to the topic, for example, by writing an essay, diary entry, letter or table with points for and against. This is carried out as an informal task as part of lessons at the end of each half term and as a formal test at the end of each topic. Children are marked on their factual accuracy, comprehension and historical skills. In Years Seven and Eight, the focus shifts onto assessing and developing the essay-writing skills that are essential for success in Common-Entrance and beyond.