- As part of our Ancient Benin History topic, we've been producing clay tiles based on the Benin Bronzes.
- As part of our study of the Ancient Egyptians, Year Three have been making mummies!
- Today we demonstrated our plans for the future by dressing up as 'Big Me'. We represented a huge range of careers from Doctors and Vets, to Pilots and Footballers, Builders and Fashion Designers and a LOT of teachers!
History at London Fields Primary
History has always been a subject about which we are passionate at London Fields. Studying history gives pupils the opportunity to develop an understanding of why the world and its people are the way they are today. They begin to ask questions as they explore the diversity of human experience, past lives and societies. As of September 2014, we are following the new History Curriculum which focuses on British history. The idea is that by the end of their primary education, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from Stone Age to present day and are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this is the need to look at world history. At London Fields the children will explore the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and the Mayans, developing their understanding of trends over time and across concurrent civilisations.
At London Fields history is taught through investigation and enquiry. Children develop an understanding of how History has had an impact on our lives today both locally, nationally and internationally. Whilst it is important for children to have facts, we wish to encourage independent and critical thinking which will foster an understanding of ‘why’ as well as ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’. Lessons are planned so that there is time for discussion and debate, fostering an environment of enquiry which enables children to revise and justify their opinions as well as encouraging children to ask as well as answer questions about history.
We believe that History should be an interactive subject which strives to ignite a child’s natural curiosity. Each unit being planned includes opportunities for children to investigate, handle artefacts, pictorial evidence, watch historical footage, take part in role play activities, visit relevant sites and museums and where appropriate, experience oral history, engaging with historical characters and ways of life.
At present, our curriculum provides a rich variety of topics that cover The Stone Age to World War II. Each topic has an overarching question which they refer to at the end of each lesson to see how different events and actions can accumulate to build a deeper understanding of a historical period. They explore this question using a variety of investigative skills, engaging and becoming more familiar with historical skills such as analysing and debating the reliability of sources, making comparisons between historical periods, devising historically valid questions, drawing conclusions from sources and making links between events.
Underpinning this is an emphasis on children understanding the world around them, their country and their values.
How is History currently taught across Key Stages?
Across the whole school, there are four key historical learning intentions that the children will explore over the course of their education at London Fields:
- To investigate and interpret the past.
- To build an overview of world history.
- To understand chronology.
- To communicate historically.
As they develop these skills in a range of contexts, so too will they develop the ability to be independent learners, using the key historical skills they have gained to analyse, question and compare sources of evidence to form their own judgement about the past.
Our History Vocabulary
At London Fields, we know that a good understanding of a wide range of vocabulary supports success across the whole national curriculum. We have identified ‘core’ words that the children will meet in different subjects and in different topics. These words will be revisited and taught in different contexts so that the children develop a deep understanding of their meaning and they become tools with which children can access the knowledge, skills and understanding the curriculum demands. Obviously, these are not the only words we will teach. But they will form a backbone through our curriculum to help to scaffold and develop the children’s learning.
At London Fields Primary, we believe that fieldwork trips are highly valuable for cementing historical understanding and bringing history to life. As well as being lucky enough to be situated within easy access of some of the country’s most prestigious historical venues such as The British Museum, The Museum of London, The Tower of London and The Imperial War Museum and even Pudding Lane itself!
We are extremely lucky to be based in London with a wealth of cultural opportunities just at our finger tips. Staff are constantly looking for new experiences that will enrich the learning of their pupils. This year’s history trips have taken us further afield to Butser Farm, Lullingstone Roman Villa and the Verulamium in St Albans. We also organise talks and workshops, some of which have a cross-curricular link (e.g. Egyptian dancing and instruments) and some where an expert shares their knowledge with the children in a creative capacity. Recently we had the Mayan expert Dr Davies visit us with her archaeological tools and teach us about the Ancient Maya. We regularly report on these in the newsletter so do have a look each week and see what’s been going on!
History at Home
Being an ancient city, living in London provides our children with a great opportunity to discover more about the past. As well as many museums, history is everywhere – in buildings, blue plagues and our old city wall! Children can also learn a lot from our own personal stories of the past which allow them to understand that the world changes with each generation. At London Fields we actively encourage children to continue their research at home. Below are some websites you might find useful: