‘A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots’
History at High Halden has high importance within our curriculum, with the school’s own rich history within the context of the local area a celebrated and inspiring feature of the school. While placing into account the importance of children appreciating the history of their local context, our history curriculum aims to develop children’s awareness of the past, other peoples and their cultures. As teachers and school leaders, we are aware of the need for concurrency within the subject, as this enables children to build upon prior learning and make long lasting links between topics. Historical learning at High Halden follows a process of establishing the context of past events, using sources to establish and acquire information, generating lines of enquiry before finally presenting information and new knowledge gained in a variety of ways. This process can be seen within individual lessons and across the sequence of a term or topic.
In Reception, children acquire an understanding of their personal and local history - supporting their understanding of time and chronology. This develops from exploring family trees and the History of High Halden, to significant individuals such as the Royal Family. In analysing history within their grandparents' lifetimes, children are provided with a secure foundation from which to build the knowledge they acquire throughout the school and in further education. As a result of this, in Years 1 and 2, children continue to apply their skills of researching significant individuals, exploring the lives of Samuel Pepys, Mary Anning, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. In addition, children also explore significant places within our school’s locality, exploring the history of castles and how they have changed and developed over time. Through applying their increasing understanding of a historical timeline, children also discuss the history of trains and dinosaurs.
Moving through the school, children in Key Stage Two use the foundations of knowledge and skills they have acquired to deepen and broaden their understanding of the past, people and cultures. In these year groups, children are challenged to question the knowledge they acquire and to consider how varied civilizations or events compare and how this has affected their lives and the lives of others in modern Britain today. We believe this ensures children feel learning is relevant, meaningful and weighted with purpose.
In Years 3 and 4, children begin by drawing upon their knowledge of the past to explore the Egyptians and Roman history and its significance on Britain today. Children analyse eras such as the Iron and Bronze ages, whilst also exploring the ancient Greeks and the impact of Queen Victoria. In Years 5 and 6 children are able to apply their previous knowledge and understanding of a timeline and historical concurrence to explore the impact of the Maya, Shang Dynasty and WWII as well as significant events such as the Titanic and the Civil Rights Movement. We feel it also important for children in Years 5 and 6 to complete an additional local history study as it provides rich opportunities to engage children in their immediate local area and understand their own history and how history contributes to a greater overall understanding and bigger picture.