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History

‘If we ignore history we have no past and no future.’  Robert Heinlein

 

Our history curriculum allows us to learn from the insights of the past to guide our futures.

 

We provide a highly detailed and prescriptive history curriculum with specific sequential  knowledge at its heart. This knowledge is organised into three unique vertical themes of Monarchy, Democracy and Civilisation that accompany our children’s learning journey from our Foundation stage through to Year 6.

 

The vertical historical themes that form part of our whole school 3D curriculum, provide our children with powerful historical concepts that have shaped and continue to shape us as individuals, society, as a nation and the world at large.

 

The carefully selected historical themes and detailed units of our prescribed history curriculum ensure that knowledge acquisition is never left to chance. Year group content is guaranteed. This guarantee of our 3D curriculum, developed by us, allows our teachers and learners to refer back to and build upon prior knowledge learnt in previous academic years, a powerful tool to acquire powerful knowledge and build cultural capital that lasts.

Progression Map

 

 

Monarchy

Democracy

Civilisation

Ancient

Civilisations

Shaping the

World

Shaping the

United Kingdom

Year 6

Oliver Cromwell

Dictators

Mayan Civilisation

An overview of empires

 

Year 5

William the Conqueror

Suffrage.

Censorship, free speech and the Media.

An overview of ancient civilisations

 

Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons & Celts

Year 4

Alfred the Great

Democracy in the UK/Communism

 

The Industrial Revolution

The Roman Empire & the UK

Year 3

Elizabeth I

Greece; The birth of Democracy

The ancient Egyptians

 

Changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age

Year 2

Pharoaohs

James I and the Gunpowder Plot

 

 

 

Year1/ Foundation Stage

Elizabeth II

Democracy in the UK

 

 

 

 

We want our children to assimilate, remember, question and develop a broad sense of these essential themes and regard them as powerful narratives that accompany their seven year journey here and beyond. For this reason year group units have been carefully sequenced, structured and developed to provide highly detailed specific examples. We believe that it is these powerful examples that provide either typical exemplification of a theme or atypical examples that are all important to challenging thinking and developing schema. Both types of example are purposely included to promote remembering, develop deep thinking and ultimately build children’s schema.

 

Monarchy – our rationale for inclusion and sequencing of examples.

Reasons for including a monarchy theme:

There are 195 countries in the world and 44 of these have a monarch as their ceremonial or head of state. The United Kingdom’s is the highest profile royal family in the world with a history dating back over one thousand years.  Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s longest reigning female monarch.  There is a lack of understanding in society as a whole as to the relationship between government and monarchy. Democracy is a central theme of British values of which our constitutional monarchy is a part of.

Year group

Example

Reason for inclusion in the theme and sequencing

FS/Y1

Elizabeth II

Our current queen and royal family is the highest profile royal family in the world. Conversely there is a growing sense within British society that the royal family is becoming less relevant.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Ashcombe Children’s Centre recently which is a very good ‘hook’ for our youngest children. Her image appears on many items in everyday use that young children will encounter. We also wanted to develop the idea of a nation with a constitutional monarchy and begin making links to our democracy theme and the seat of power being with an elected government.

Y2

Egyptian Pharaohs

A less typical type of monarch whose inclusion in the theme will challenge children’s schema. We also want to bring greater historical and geographical depth to our key stage one curriculum as we believe that children of this age are becoming much more aware of a wider learning world because of greater access to a wider range of media in the home.

To promote remembering and build schema we have included the pharaohs in key stage one as some preparation for studying the ancient Egyptian civilisation in Year 3.

Y3

Elizabeth I

With only a handful of female British monarchs we are keen to ensure gender balance in our curriculum.

During the reign of Elizabeth I Britain was becoming highly influential on the world stage and we want to give our children a growing sense of the impact Britain has had across Europe and the world.

Y4

Alfred the Great

Alfred was a learned man who used his experience and wisdom to bring Anglo-Saxon tribes and invading Vikings together in a united kingdom. We want our children to understand that with great power comes great responsibility. We are also sowing the seeds of what it means to be British – a nation that has for centuries been settled by peoples from across the world; that is our heritage.

Y5

William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror was the antithesis of Alfred the Great. He led with ruthless power often from his throne in France. Our older children can debate the different leadership styles of the two types of monarch learnt in these subsequent years which hopefully will develop character education. The Normans left behind much that is now part of our heritage and again we reinforce the children’s understanding of a nation settled by peoples from across Europe and the world.

Y6

Oliver Cromwell

A strong challenger to our understanding of the British monarchy. An individual who rose to power because of an abuse of power by an absolute monarch but in turn became much like an absolute monarch. This was the beginnings of the constitutional monarchy model that we see in the UK and across much of the world today.  This is a great example of people power from different perspectives.

 

 

Democracy – our rationale for inclusion and sequencing of examples.

Reasons for including a democracy theme:

There can be a feeling in society that governance is something that is done to us. This theme educates young minds to the central pretext that democracy is for the people and that it is the people that are a dominant force in the democratic process. The theme cuts through the apathy and confusion and clearly explains the key figures, locations and narratives that give an overview of democracy in the UK. Lessons from history and from other nations give opportunities to compare and contrast with other political systems in the hope that the children will draw positive conclusions relating to our own democratic system.

Year group

Example

Reason for inclusion in the theme and sequencing

FS/Y1

Democracy in the UK

With the correct pitch we believe it is possible for our very youngest children to begin identifying with the key individuals, seats of power and figureheads that are central to our democratic nation. We want our children to understand that our nation gives us many freedoms.  We want them to understand that our democratic system allows for collective change. Few people give much thought to the difference between ruling and reigning and it is here that we begin to address this distinction between government and monarchy.

Y2

The Gunpowder Plot

All children delight in the thought of being in charge. This accessible unit with celebratory links to bonfire night, that young children have first-hand experience of, teaches a valuable lesson on the abuses of power. Recognisable national landmarks are revisited from the previous year to promote national identity. It also serves as a lesson from history about using the democratic system to lead change. With great power comes great responsibility.

Y3

Greece; The birth of democracy

Democracy has a long history. This unit is purposefully chosen for Year 3 as the children are developmentally ready to expand their geographical and historical understanding of the world. Democracy for the people is a concept with a proven longevity that has spread successfully worldwide.

Y4

Democracy in the UK

Communism

This comparative study gives children a chance to revisit in greater depth and then draw comparisons between two divergent political systems with aspirational ideologies.  The concept of revolution is introduced as a lesson from history that supposed established political systems can change.

Y5

People Power

The United Kingdom may be part of the free world but this hasn’t been the case for everyone in the UK and across nations even in recent history. Suffrage is introduced to give children a sense of how injustice can lead to empowerment and change.

Y6

Dictators and Authoritarianism

Dictators from history were often charismatic individuals who grasped opportunities to seize power during times of upheaval.  This theme gives our oldest children a chance to explore how democracy can go wrong and question and debate if they should always follow the leader.

 

 

 

Civilisation – our rationale for inclusion and sequencing of examples.

Reasons for including a civilisation theme:

Our civilisation theme gives our Key Stage 2 children an opportunity to consider how over millennia our world has been shaped by people. We have drawn on key examples from across the world allowing children to explore how civilised societies are formed from enabling physical conditions. From these conditions progress in agriculture, bureaucracy, trade, learning and belief systems are able to flourish. Our children have opportunity to debate how powerful civilisations may come to an end. We believe that our civilisation theme provides powerful lessons from history about the inevitable narrative of change over time.

The focus on civilisation and society sharpens as our children take a closer look at the United Kingdom. A unit on the Industrial Revolution debates the scientific revolution that emanated from Britain to shape the modern world through an understanding of the natural world and how it could be exploited for mankind. We want our children to understand what it means to be British – part of a culture that has been shaped by immigration over centuries through invasion, settlement and assimilation by a broad swathe of people and cultures. The United Kingdom has always been one with a mixed heritage and it is this diversity that has created a great Britain. We want our children to know this.

Year group

Example

Reason for inclusion in the theme and sequencing

Y3

Ancient Egyptian Civilisation

This unit gives children an opportunity to build on their knowledge of the pharaohs from our Year 2 unit within the Monarchy theme encouraging retrieval and remembering. Knowledge is built upon as our children develop how people seized on the enabling conditions of the good fortune of the land in the midst of inhospitable desert to develop organised society.

Y3

Changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age

The enigma of Stonehenge gives our children a chance to wonder about the peoples that occupied our lands in prehistory. The significant developments of the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age are taught and children develop a sense of our tribal lands prior to the Roman invasion.

Y4

The Industrial Revolution

We want our children to know the immensity of change that occurred across the world during the 17th, 18th and 19th that emanated from the United Kingdom by scientific and industrial breakthroughs from key individuals such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Children begin to consider how European empires fed their industrial revolutions through the exploitation of resources before embarking on their study of empires in Year 6.

Y4

The Roman Empire and the UK

Our settlement patterns and infrastructure even to this day is evidence of the influence of Rome on the United Kingdom. The structure of society that Rome brought to our shores sowed the seeds of our modern United Kingdom. The evidence is there, we provide our children with the knowledge to know where to see it .

Y5

An overview of ancient civilisations

The story of humanity is an immense narrative. We provide a broad knowledge of this as a launch pad into understanding the establishing conditions that humans required to form unprecedented complex societies approximately 5000 years ago. The rise and fall of ancient civilisations around the world are mapped and debated.

Y5

Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Celts

We want our children to be in no doubt that Britain is a nation that has continually been settled by people from other lands for the better. We want to shed light on the Dark Ages and its cultural landscape.

Y6

Ancient Mayan Civilisation

This non-European depth study allows our children to question how one of the most advanced civilisations in Meso-America came to an end. It encourages our oldest children to value the benefits of structure to society and consider that despite this society and the structures that are needed for it to thrive can be fragile.

Y6

An overview of Empires with a focus on the British Empire.

This unit is a narrative of two halves. We believe our oldest children have the maturity to debate the legacy of imperialism and colonialism that advanced states throughout history have exerted over other parts of the world. We want our children to understand the impact and legacy of the British empire across the world. We want our children to understand it as a process of both enterprise and exploitation.

 

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