History at Yohden
As a school we want our children to develop a thirst for knowledge and a drive to become a historian – asking the questions they want to know the answers to, investigating the different eras and developing a knowledge of when and where each era was on a time line.
At Yohden Primary School, history begins when our pupils enter into EYFS under the Development Matters statements and Early Learning Goals (ELG). Here, history learning is tailored around the individual child. Do children know what past actually means? What about the term yesterday? In the autumn term, we begin by exploring key vocabulary such as old, new, past, present, yesterday, today, change, different, same etc. By exploring these words, pupils begin to develop a sense of themselves, their families and their surroundings. Building on from this, children begin to explore some significant individuals through festivals and traditions which they will experience such as Guy Fawkes and why Bonfire Night is celebrated.
During the spring term, these skills are developed further through recounting past experiences such as Christmas, what toys they received and how these may be similar/different to those of toys in the past. Additionally, pupils continue to develop their sense of understanding of the world around them by exploring other traditions and events they will experience such as Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday and Easter and why they are celebrated.
In the summer term, pupils begin to explore the theme of continuity and change by recounting family experiences of holidays in the UK and abroad and whether these have changed or continued since the past.
Finally, in EYFS, children develop a sense of themselves, their families and surroundings through the use of stories. Stories are carefully chosen by our EYFS leader alongside our history leader to further develop an understanding of the key vocabulary identified above. This key vocabulary is also displayed in our EYFS learning area to further reinforce these words ready for progression into KS1.
Moving into KS1, our pupils begin to work towards the National Curriculum (2014) statements. Building on our EYFS curriculum, pupils begin to move away from the history of themselves to their local surroundings but continue to look at history within living memory. To do this, Yohden Primary School offers our pupils a thematic approach to learning. Our KS1 curriculum builds upon the learning of EYFS and follows a theme until the end of Year 2. For example, in Year 2, during the second unit of learning, pupils learn about railways and whether they are still significant. This could result in a fieldtrip to the recently built railway station in Horden where pupils can learn more about the modern railway alongside a trip on a train. However, did railways used to be as significant as they are today? This leads to pupils learning about the transportation of coal from mines such as the one in Horden (our local area). The first topic of Year 2 is why was mining safety so important. Here pupils will have already explored significant individuals such as Dr Clanny, Stephenson and Swann as well as mine safety. This gives pupils the chance to relate to prior learning. The final topic of Year 2 is how have holidays changed in our local area? This links the other topics together as individuals would go on holiday to the beach such as the one in Horden by none other, the train, which was covered in topic 2 and also in the summer of EYFS.
At Yohden Primary School, pupils begin KS2 by exploring history outside of living memory with the changes between the stone and iron ages. Pupils then begin to explore ancient civilisations such as the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire in Rome and its impact on Britain. However, these topics are not taught individually. We aim to find and explore as many links between these such as, “Greek achievements are overrated and were no different from other people,” hinting at a comparison between Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.
Building on from this, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and the Maya are compared and contrasted. Our curriculum aims to offer high-level thinking so rather than just teaching these topics separately, we ask questions such as, “evidence suggests that the Vikings were clearly more advanced than the Maya.” Using knowledge learned over several units, children can debate whether this is true or not. Finally, our KS2 curriculum concludes with WW1 and WW2. We always ensure our learning is tailored around the pupil and their locality. For example, rather than just teaching WW1, we follow 4 brothers from the local area and their experiences throughout the First World War, teaching the fundamentals along the way. Finally, our final topic is named, “How has monarchy changed in Britain?” This unit gives pupils the opportunity to revisit many of the topics learned throughout our curriculum and to bring much of the history learning together.
Writing in Hieroglyphics
Researching the Romans