History is one of the subjects children particularly enjoy at school. It is a chance to be transported to another period of time, where life was a little bit more gruesome than today! We further harness their love of history by teaching in a way that stimulates the children’s interest whilst growing their understanding about the past. History allows children to develop their skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
Our focus is to teach the areas of the curriculum the children say they love the most: the gods people worshipped through different times; historical evidence left behind by people; what life was like for a child; how the history of the world is recorded. We have threaded these areas into our lessons, ensuring that children are able to make comparisons in their learning through the years whilst understanding the developments that have occurred. These topics allow the children to learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern, multicultural Britain, and by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today.
Developing the understanding of chronology is central to our teaching, and topics have been reorganised in September 2020 to enable the children to understand where a period fits in the timeline of world history. As such you will see below that at this time, some topics appear twice. This is to ensure all children cover what is required in history, and the topics below will change as the years of transition progress. In the topics that are covered in two year groups, depth of study and skills developed will vary, and be taught to the appropriate stretching level required.
Within this topic, children consider the earliest elements of the British society as we know it. Through the study of rocks and their shape, they learn how tools and technology developed on a primitive but vital level. Children compare how the written communication and artwork of the time evolved into something that can be interpreted today.
It is through the study of the Ancient Egyptians that the children use archaeological discoveries as well as artefacts and sources to fully investigate and explore the way of life of this period of history. Skills of deduction and inference are developed to identify the past. Time concepts of BC/AD are introduced when using chronological timeframes.
To encourage the children’s sense of identity, the study of the development of Hazlemere and the local area is a key focus. This unit of work continues to develop the children’s use of primary sources as well as experiential days to understand local land use and industry. This unit of work is covered further within year 5.
When teaching the Ancient Mayan culture, children are encouraged to work within a team to research a chosen area of focus to develop further their skills of investigation, inference and deduction. Primary sources and artefacts are an essential and integral part of teaching this unit.
The Ancient Greek Empire is studied along with its significant cultural and intellectual legacy. The Greek society is compared to our own and the concept of civilisation and democracy is explored. This links well with our healthy schools weeks, with the history of the Olympic Games and the development of games, health and medicine.
Local History is revisited, but looking at a wider area from Hazlemere, incorporating High Wycombe. In Year 4 we consider the changes in industry that the town is famous for, and identify changes in land use during a visit to the town and museum and the study of local photos, maps, eye witness accounts and the analysis of census information.
In this unit of work, Britain’s development is understood as being influenced by people from other societies who settled here and became integrated. Children use archaeological discoveries to investigate and explore the Roman way of life.
The arrival of the Anglo-Saxons is discussed within this area of study, while cross-curricular links are made with RE through the discovery of artefacts at Sutton Hoo, and the study of Bede, Hilda and ship burials.
The study of the local area from Year 3 and 4 is developed further looking now at the changes in landscape and history in the Chilterns. This links closely to the Geography units of work within Year 5, allowing the children to develop skills in analysis of land use maps, fieldwork skills in visits to iron age sites in Wendover and analysis when considering the histories of the county and the bias within evidence about the county.
When teaching the Ancient Mayan culture children are encouraged to work within a team to research a chosen area of focus to develop further their skills of investigation, inference and deduction. Primary sources and artefacts are an essential and integral part of teaching this unit of work.
When teaching different Explorers through history, the children develop an understanding of how the history of the world has developed over the last 500 years. They really begin to develop a sense of identity as a result of the study of how different cultures and heritages were brought into Great Britain. Thus, they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern, multicultural Britain.