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Downsview

Primary and Nursery School

History

“He who controls the past controls the future.  He who controls the present control the past.” George Orwell

Why do we teach History?

  • To provide us with the framework of knowledge: We need knowledge to build our entire lives. Learning about History is learning about people’s stories ("His…story") …
  • To develop our sense of identity: We learn who we are and how we came to be. It helps children to see the diversity of human experiences and develops their understanding about themselves as individuals and members of society. 
  • To motivate and inspire: History inspires us through bravery and courage of our forefathers. History teaches us that a single individual with great convictions or a committed group can change the world. It is from numerous acts of courage that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the life of others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
  • To learn from it: History has the largest reference of mistakes. As we learn from the successes of our ancestors, we can also learn from their mistakes to prevent us from making them again.
  • To develop critical thinking: History helps us to look beyond the headlines, to ask questions properly, and to express our own opinions. History trains our minds and teaches us to think and process information.
  • To help children understand sense of the world and to develop the concept of historical time and chronology.

What do we teach?

The skills of History are taught to our pupils in a topical manner as opposed to chronological order. This allows children to go through history and make necessary links throughout their primary education starting from the Great Fire of London from Key Stage One, to WW2 at the end of Key Stage Two. Key facts are identified on our knowledge organisers. The knowledge and understanding of these are taught in a range of ways to capture not only the children’s imagination but also their interest into the life skill of discovery and wanting to learn more about the world and how it was influenced and how to face the future.

 

Content of learning in History:

Y1: Toys; Kings & Queens

Y2: Great Fire of London

Y3: Stone Age; Ancient Egypt

Y4: Romans & World War I

Y5: Benin; Anglo-Saxons & Vikings; Ancient Greece

Y6: World War II

 

We have designed a knowledge organiser for each unit of study, which gives the children and teachers the 'bigger picture' of the topic they are learning about.

Expectation of History (Impact)

We want our children to leave Downsview with an understanding of how their lives are effected by the events of the past; a knowledge of the sequence of key events; an understanding of historical concepts; an ability to question sources and accounts and an enjoyment of history.

 

Our bespoke knowledge organisers set out what we want the children to know by heart by the end of the topic.  We expect the majority of children to be able to recall many, if not all, of the key facts.   At the end of each unit we use a 'pop quiz' to assess the children's knowledge and understanding in relation to the content of learning.

 
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