We teach History and Geography as individual subjects. Our ‘Units of Work’ in each subject have been carefully crafted by teachers, identifying composite tasks and breaking them down in to component tasks to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition. These ‘Units of Work’ also support our particular style of teaching. The children use ‘Knowledge Organisers’ to help them to remember key information related to those subjects and take part in a wide variety of out of school visits to places of historical or geographical interest linked to their learning. Our children experience a range of trips to enhance and develop their historical skills and knowledge.
In learning about history, our children can be helped to make sense of the world that they live in. By comparing their lives to the lives of people in the past, they are able to consider their own lives in a new light. Children are encouraged to empathise and show compassion towards those living in other periods. For example by examining the life of a poor farmer in Tudor England, or a Londoner experiencing the Great Fire. Children can begin to place themselves in the wider world and are introduced to the skills and concepts of investigating, understanding and interpreting.
At St George the Martyr, children are taught a broad and balanced curriculum, in line with the expectations detailed in the National Curriculum. History is taught to KS1 and KS2 during the year, through three units of study. In KS1, opportunities include storytelling, handling objects, oral history, imaginative play, themed days and visits to museums.
In KS2, every effort is made to continue to make history real, by using a range of primary sources, including museums or historical sites, themed days, original documents, photographs and artefacts.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children explore the past through ‘Understanding the World’, often related to their own experiences.
We use trips to museums and historic sites help bring to life the periods studied. The children are given opportunities throughout the school to visit sites related to their topics such as the Egyptian collection at the British Museum, or Hampton Court to experience a Tudor palace first hand.
How can parents help?
Living in London gives such wonderful opportunities to develop children’s interest in history. Top museums are The Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, London Transport Museum and The British Museum. Most museums are free and many offer fabulous workshops, also free, at weekends and during the school holidays.