The purpose of the national curriculum in history is both to “help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world” and “help pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.”
It is no longer the case however, that children should do this by memorising dates and faces through history. While it clearly lends itself to be taught chronologically, the actual teaching of history should, “equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.” These are real life skills with a multitude of uses, thus at SPS the teaching of history should encourage and nurture the natural inquisitiveness and curiosity of children, fostering a desire to not just find out what happened, but why it happened.
At Sevenoaks Primary School , we view History not only as simple facts and dates but encourage pupils to become detectives who explore the past in an exciting way. History is taught mainly through a topic based approach and gives pupils a chance to explore a wide range of sources from which the past may come alive.
History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life.
We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts wherever possible. We invite visiting workshops to our school to provide children with a creative and hands-on approach to learning history. A costume is often required! Workshops this year have included ‘Knights and Castles’, ‘The Great Fire of London’, ‘The Tudors’ and ‘The Stone Age’.
Classes also visit relevant sites of historical interest in the region, including trips to London. Places we have visited recently include Crofton Roman Villa, Ightam Mote, The Golden Hinde and Bodium Castle.
Please use your child's year group page to find out what they are learning about each half term!
KS1 begin to understand the concept of the past by looking at objects past and present such as toys and by learning about key events or people from the past such as the ‘Fire of London’ and Florence Nightingale.
In KS2, children begin to explore whole periods of the past from ancient civilisations such as Greeks and Egyptians, through to those invaders and settlers pre 1066 eg the Romans and the Saxons and moving onto more modern history such as Victorians and WWII.