History is an integral part of the curriculum at Seven Hills Primary School and is a subject area that enthuses, engages and inspires both teachers and pupils alike. By studying the past, pupils develop a deeper understanding of the present world around them and a greater sense of their own personal identity. In history lessons, pupils are provided with opportunities to discover, tme order, explore, investigate, question, analyse and evaluate the world before them, the world as it is now and the world as it will be in generations to come.
Our history learning at Seven Hills begins in Nursery, where children begin to develop self-awareness and their own personal identity, recognizing themselves as a part of our school community. Through their class novel ‘The Gruffalo’, the pupils begin to develop their concept of time, the ability to sequence events and begin to understand how our actions have consequences.
In Reception, pupils continue to develop their understanding of chronology, events and changes over time as they learn about the fascinating age of the dinosaurs. Pupils in Reception experience the hatching of chicks in their classroom introducing them to life cycles and learn about the significant people in their lives who help them.
In year 1, pupils build on their learning about significant people who help by focusing on Florence Nightingale. The children make comparisons between nursing and hospital conditions in the past and what they are now like in the present, as a result of Florence Nightingale’s work. Pupils also make comparisons between the explorers Christopher Columbus and James Cook, learning about how they travelled, the places that they explored and how they differ from today’s explorers. Linked to their class novel ‘Charlotte’s Web’ pupils learn about the history of farming and compare farming from the past to the present.
In year 2, pupils build on their learning about explorers by focusing on the modern day explorer Neil Armstrong and how his adventures are similar or different to those of others. Pupils continue to develop their knowledge about significant people who help by learning about Mary Seacole and the role that she played during the Crimean War. Pupils also learn about The Great Fire of London and how this significant event in history impacted on the
citizens of London in the Stuart Age. While studying the Stone Age settlement, pupils learn about their houses, tools, weapons, diet and animals. Using exciting artefacts, pictures and other sources of evidence, pupils also make comparisons between the Stone Age and modern life.
In year 3, pupils learn about life in Ancient Egypt and the ruling systems, beliefs, rituals, inventions, architecture and significant people that made this civilization unique. Travelling forward in time, pupils will also learn about the Mayan civilisation and how this shares similarities and differences with that of Ancient Egypt.
Building on their knowledge of Egyptian slavery and pharaohs from their previous year group, year 4 pupils learn about the significant person Nelson Mandela and Apartheid. Alongside their class novel ‘Cogheart’ set in Victorian England, 1896, year four pupils learn about The Victorians, exploring the history of human rights in regard to the Education Act, mining laws and child labour laws. Year 4 are also transported to Elizabethan times with their class novel ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and explore key events and significant people from this time period such as the playwright William Shakespeare and explorers Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake.
In year 5, pupils are introduced to the Ancient Greek civilisation where they learn about key events, significant people such as Alexander the Great, how the Olympics came to be, and how and why democracy started. Pupils read the book ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ which enhances their learning of the Greek Gods and Goddesses and helps to inspire their own Greek myths. Building on their prior learning of exploration, the children also study The Vikings where they familiarize themselves with daily life as a Viking – including hierarchy, law, punishment and survival during this barbaric era. Whilst reading their second class novel, ‘Trash’, pupils will build on previous year group’s learning about Human Rights and will compare and contrast the rights between adults and children.
As they read their class novel ‘The Thieves of Ostia’, year 6 pupils learn about key events in Ancient Rome, the creation of the Roman Empire, the power and organization of the Roman Army, architecture and significant people. Looking at the Roman legacy, children come to understand how many aspects of modern life can, in effect, be traced back in some way to the Romans by studying the cities, the rule of law, Roman numerals and the calendar we use today. With great sensitivity, year 6 pupils also study
The Second World War, focusing on key events and significant people such as Winston Churchill. Whilst reading their second class novel, ‘Letters From The Lighthouse’, children learn about the lives of the ordinary people who faced the Blitz with a focus on rationing, the Blackout, evacuation and the role of women. Links to human rights and responsibilities learnt in previous year groups are built on as pupils examine the lives of the Jewish people during World War 2 and cover the terrible discrimination, oppression and liberation of the concentration camps.
The periods of history that are studied by pupils in each year group have been carefully chosen to cover age appropriate content and meet age-related expectations. Through our love of our history linked class novels, creative activities, cross curricular links and our history inspired school trips, our pupils acquire a life-long understanding and are provided with a wealth of opportunities to learn at a greater depth standard.