History is arguably one of the most important areas of a person's education; it enables a learner to understand why things are the way they are now and importantly how to ensure past issues don't repeat themselves today. The study of history concerns events, actions, causes, consequences and people of past societies and develops an understanding of the relationship between the past and our learners’ lives today.
As learners move through their history learning, the increasing complexity is influenced by the historical sources learners use, as well as the depths of understanding required around the causes, actions and outcomes of events and situations.
Learners will gain knowledge of a variety of times, including ancient, modern, recent and living history. They will know about significant events in specific periods and places. Skills of critical analysis, including identifying bias within a broad range of primary and secondary sources, are essential to becoming a historian. Learners will develop an understanding of world history and the interconnectedness of the past.
They will cultivate an understanding of and empathy for peoples of the past through engaging with multiple perspectives accessed through a variety of sources.
By using an approach that fosters historical enquiry, which builds learning throughout the key stages, all children at Thomas Jolyffe will leave as history enthusiasts who embrace the past and understand it’s impact on our future. We hope they will remain history enthusiasts for life who continue to learn from experiences, sources and stories around them. They will be able to use appropriate vocabulary and subject specific terminology, connect learning within topics, engage with current affairs on a local and global level, including ethical issues and explain how the past is important to us today.
As school life begins, children are introduced to history in Reception by looking at past and present events in their own lives so far. They use a range of stimulus for this such as family pictures and tracking their changes from babies to now. As they become more aware of the world around them, they start to identify similarities and differences between families, communities and traditions. In particular, they look at festivals and celebrations that are linked to historical events.
As the children move into Year One they delve further into the past looking and begin to develop their language of the passing of time. They explore significant people including Queen Elizabeth II and Mae Jameson and find out why they are still significant today. A range of sources are used to start teaching the facts that we can learn about the past in a variety of ways. The skills and concepts of chronology start to be used and the key concept of timelines embedded. The early stages of Year One centre around the changes that occur in living memory.
By Year Two, children have a solid understanding of the past and are introduced to the concept of a timeline in their topic From A to B. The children look at transport in the past and make their own timelines to show when they were invented. They explore this further by applying their understanding to different types of transport from myths and legends. Whilst completing their Magical Toymaker topic, children identify similarities and differences between an aspect of their life and aspect of the past. They further cement their understanding by learning how houses were made and have been used in the past during their topic Buildings. Year Two continue to expand their knowledge of significant people by exploring Grace Darling. By the end of the key stage our children have a secure understanding of the objectives ready to progress to Key Stage Two.
At the start of the Juniors, the children are increase their awareness of evidence and sources so that they begin to understand how we find out about the past. This is demonstrated in the topic Scavengers and Settlers as we explore our ancestors and use evidence to find out about what they may have looked like and how they were able to survive. The topic allows an immersive element to the learning as children are given the opportunity to find their own evidence and make predictions. Continuing from Key Stage One, the children develop an understanding of timelines by looking at how early human life developed through to the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Moving into Year Four, children will complete the topic All Aboard whereby they will develop their understanding of a significant turning point in British history with the history of the railways. They will learn about early inventors and their working conditions to the growth of the railway system and the impact it made on British communities and the economy. Another topic Year Four will learn about is Temples, Tombs and Treasures where they will compare life in Ancient Sumner with life in Ancient Egypt. They will continue to find and use evidence to support their learning with more independence and explanations for their reasoning. The impact of beliefs on society is explored including the analysis of how Egyptian gods impacted people's lives.
Arriving in Year Five, children continue to explore a range of different historical topics during The Great the Bold and the Brave and AD 900. They continue to use all of the skills learned so far during their school experience, however they start to develop their reasoning skills further as they look at events that have changed history such as the Roman Empire decline and look for reasons why this might have happened including the impact of this at the time. The children take more independence with their learning and conduct independent research whilst deciding their own opinions and reasons. They continue to use sources to build on their learning and use these skills across a wide range of history topics.
As we prepare our children for secondary school, the children will be working with good awareness of different history topics and their impact in time. They demonstrate their secure chronological knowledge and understanding in their Time Tunnel unit where they explore the overview of world history.
They are able to conduct their own research and present findings with confidence as they learn about an aspect of history of their own choosing. This supports their understanding of the past whilst making clear links with the present developing their ability to explain why change happens and how it has made an impact.
Mr J Oakley (History Coordinator)