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Calder Vale St John C of E Primary School

Grow, Achieve, Explore


 ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots’ - Marcus Garvey



Why do we teach History?


There are so many reasons why history is important to teach children, and it’s also important that we continue learning about history into our adult lives. This is because history is not something that can be “completed” or “ticked off” during your school years. 

There are so many different histories to explore and understand, from the histories of different countries and cultures to different political movements. Learning about these different histories should be a lifelong process, and can improve our children's understanding of themselves and the world around them.

By looking at the past, we can try to understand why things are the way they are, and process how society has changed over time. If we understand context, we are far more likely to be empathetic to other people’s struggles and able to tackle problems in society head-on.

This is because history teaches us political intelligence, morality, personal growth, and how to learn from mistakes. On a more academic level, learning history helps us develop reading and writing skills, how to craft our own opinions, research skills, and how to analyse situations and sources. 

How do we know children at KS1 are making progress?


Key indicators of progression:


  1. Ability to handle wider periods of time and within and between periods. e.g. how seaside holidays changed over time.
  2. Ability to make links and connections between different areas of learning. Miss, this is like when X did Y, isn’t it?
  3. Categorising ideas, not just listing them.
  4. Understanding more abstract concepts e.g. different attitudes to nurses held in the mid 19th century.
  5. Providing more reasoned explanations. Explaining why the Great Fire burned down so many houses whereas other large fires had not been as devastating.
  6. Understanding more about significance. Can pupils summarise the achievement of the Wright brothers in just 35 words and write them on a commemorative plaque?
  7. Writing with greater relevance. Linked to the idea above but covered in the distinction between what happened to the Titanic and why it sank.
  8. Backing up what they say with a wider range of well-chosen examples.
  9. Asking and answering more complex questions e.g. seen during hot seating Florence Nightingale or Grace Darling. The questions are less to do with daily routines and more to do with motivation.
  10. Showing greater independence in their enquiry work.