"Children will develop critical thinking skills and have a genuine interest, enthusiasm and curiosity about history and how past events have shaped the world in which we live today."
The teaching of history at Chestnuts focuses on enabling children to think as historians and a variety of pedagogical approaches are used to achieve this. We follow the National Curriculum for History.
During the foundation stage, through ‘Understanding the World’, children are guided to make sense of their physical world and their community via opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Through People and Communities, children are encouraged to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. Similarities between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions are explored.
In Key Stage One, by knowing and using common words associated with the passing of time, our children learn how to look for similarities and differences between life today and in the past. They study the lives and lifestyles of familiar people in the recent past and learn about significant people and events in the more distant past. They learn to use timelines, stories and historical sources to find out about the people featured and use historical models to explore their significance. They study the Great Fire of London as a significant event in the past.
They learn about English and British monarchy from AD 871 to the present day. Using timelines, information about royal palaces, portraits and other historical sources, they build up an understanding of the monarchs and then research six of the most significant sovereigns.Towards the end of year two, the children begin exploring the prehistoric period starting with the Stone Age and Neolithic periods.
In Key Stage Two, knowledge continues to develop chronologically. In lower KS2, children find out about people and the ways of life in ancient civilisations, developing a sense of the ancient world and the achievements across the globe, making comparisons where relevant. In upper KS2, knowledge of ancient civilisations continues to deepen as children learn about the achievements of non-European ancient civilisations. They also learn about different aspects of British and local history and discuss why and how events have happened or changed and the legacies we see in life today. Throughout all phases, there is a strong emphasis on vocabulary, and, as the range of vocabulary increases, our children become better equipped to appreciate, interpret, and reflect upon the evidence the past has left behind. Our history curriculum is further enhanced through the addition of visitors to the school, drama, use of artefacts, day trips and residential visits.
By the time our children are preparing for their time to join Secondary school, they will:
- be secure in their knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods covered.
- have the ability to think critically about history and communicate confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
- have the knowledge to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- have the knowledge and ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, forming and responding to questions and lines of enquiry.
- respect historical evidence and have the knowledge and ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgements.
- have a passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning through a desire to embrace challenging activities.