Hereford is an area with a wealth of history on its doorstep. At Trinity, we want to immerse our children in local historical knowledge as well as gain a wider understanding of important key worldwide events from the past. We also aim to equip our children with the ability to ask historical questions, think critically, develop points-of-view, and understand how events from the past have influenced the present day. Ultimately, we aim to cultivate excitement and wonder in our history through a creative and engaging curriculum.
History triggers the children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world, and plays an essential part in making sense of the contemporary world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human culture and experience, and begin to see ‘difference’ as interesting and positive, rather than simplistically ‘other’. This nurturing will help to develop positive values such as tolerance, inclusivity and respect for others, as well as respecting each other’s beliefs.
In the ambitious history curriculum we teach, children explore evidence, evaluate it and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through relevant information, and put forward a line of argument – all necessary skills that are required for adult life. In addition to yeargroup-specific units of study, we enagage in regular whole-school history events, such as Black History Month and Remembrance Day, to deepen pupils' understanding or a range of historical contexts. We assess our history curriculum every year to for continuous refinement and improvement.
In Reception, we focus on the past and present within the children’s own lives. This helps the children understand how their own personal historical narratives serves to define who they are. The children create family wheels (All About Me) which provide visual clarity to their understanding of time and how they relate to it. Differences are explored in terms of wider family members and different traditions, sowing the seeds for their later immersion into other ages and civilizations.
In Year 1, we study Toys, Living Memory and Famous People. By exploring the differences between old and new toys, the children can start to conceptualise comparisons from historical artefacts which relate to the time they were made. In addition, they can make enquiry-based questions in support of the toy-themed workshop. Our Famous People topic allows us to introduce cultural capital, and answer the question, what makes people famous?
In Year 2, we study Castles, The Great Fire Of London and The Way We Were. Our castles study allows us the opportunity to visit local Goodrich Castle. In the run up to this, we research different aspects of castles, develop our questioning skills and begin to explain and justify our decisions (built on throughout Key Stage 2). The Great Fire Of London topic provides the opportunity for the children to compare and contrast before and after, and provides an insight into how major events have impacted the choices that governments make. Further comparisons are made in our Way We Were topic.
In Year 3, we study British Monarchs, The Stone Age and The Iron Age. Our British Monarchy study allows us to research all the British monarchs in reverse starting from the current Queen. It offers opportunities for the children to develop their understanding of chronology, as well as build on their knowledge of The Royal Family (from Early Years) through creating more complex family trees. Our Stone Age and Iron Age studies offer the opportunity to study how everyday life changed for the Ancient Britons during this time, and also leads into exploring archaeological research into Britain’s standing stones, with relevant explanations and justifications.
In Year 4, we study Ancient Egypt, The Romans and Anglo-Saxons. Our Egyptian study includes creating a museum for our parents to come and visit. Research skills are required to provide an interesting information display as well as a chronological timeline.
In Year 5, we study Vikings, Ancient Greece and The Victorians. Our Victorian study explores the impact of the industrial revolution and introduces aspects of the British Empire which is built on in Year 6. It also provides an opportunity for our local study. Our Viking study links to the Anglo-Saxons in Year 4, and focuses on shifts in Britain during this time, as well as looking at historical artefacts to develop enquiry-based learning. Finally, we look at Ancient Greece and its impact on the modern world.
In Year 6, we study Charles I, The British Empire and Baghdad. Our study of Charles I / Civil War is an exciting and dramatic period of British history, and provides excellent opportunities to apply various critical-thinking skills (points of view, bias, conclusions) as well as providing an opportunity to explore the siege of Hereford (local visit). Our British Empire study further builds on these skills and introduces impacts we have had on the world stage. Finally, our Baghdad unit offers an exploration of another civilization to complement our British studies.