‘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 and Year 1 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 and Neil Armstrong. 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 2 and 3, children continue to apply their skills of researching significant individuals, exploring the lives of Howard Carter and William Caxton. In addition, children also explore civilizations such as the Benin tribes and Egyptians.
Moving through the school, children in years 4, 5 and 6 use the foundations of knowledge and skills they have acquired to deepen and broaden their understanding of the past, people and cultures. In years 4 and 5, children begin by drawing upon their knowledge of the Egyptians to explore Roman history and its significance on Britain today. Children analyse historical events such as the sinking of the Titanic and the ‘Space Race’, whilst also exploring the ancient Greeks. In Year 6 children are able to apply their previous knowledge and understanding of a timeline and historical concurrence to explore the impact of the Shang Dynasty and WWII. Throughout KS2, children are challenged to question the knowledge they acquire and to consider how this has affected their lives in modern Britain today.