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Merton

Infant School

Aiming High, Achieving Together

History

Intent

The National Curriculum aims for Key Stage 1 are

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analysis
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed in History
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales. 

 

We teach the National Curriculum but also use History to help the children better understand the society and culture in which they live. To help them understand how we have developed and made decisions over time which have helped shaped Popley, Great Britain and the world we live in today.

The children’s understanding of History is supported with cross curricular links through literacy, Art and Geography. The children are taught to be Historians; to use these skills in partnership with our British and Merton Values to question and draw contrasts on our history. The children are trained to understand that history is not just the recalling of key facts and dates but to understand how to make decisions and conclusions on the evidence or resources that is put to them.

Through looking at our History and key significant individuals we want all of our children to aspire to be explorers, scientists, nurses, doctors, writers and much more that potentially the future children of Merton could also be learning about them.  

Implementation 

 

History is taught using a key time period to help build the children’s key historical knowledge. Each topic through the school is carefully picked to give opportunities for the children to use and build on key history related skills. These are;

 

  • changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
  •  significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

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In EYFS children have opportunities to contrast and compare old and new, past and present through the use of History related continuous provision. Children can look at old and new technologies, stories and pictures throughout their topics. Through looking at their own traditions and how toys can change over time the children are able to bring in their own experiences to understand how our own history is constantly changing. (Enclose picture of CP)

In Key Stage One we use the Cycle of Enquiry throughout the topic to develop and plan the understanding of history. This Cycle of Enquiry starts with a key question which is reflected on throughout the topic for the children to follow their own learning journey. Children are encouraged to draw or write on the Cycle of Enquiry to evaluate their own learning at the end of the topic.

Each year group uses a hook to engage and motivate the children’s learning. This can be a school trip or a History box provided by HIAS (Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service) to excite and engage learning. History boxes contain artefacts which the children can explore to better understand the time period. Children are encouraged to compare and contrast the artefacts to modern day equivalents, to talk about how they were used then and why we may not use them now.

Children are taught not only to understand the key period of that topic but to link their historical knowledge to other topics. This is shown in Merton Infant school with every class having a time line for continual reflection. Opportunities are given at each stage of topic to reflect and link prior learning.  In year 1 the children begin building their own timeline of learning and this is continued on into year 2. Children are able to compare explorers; the journey of Amelia Earhart to the journeys of Ernest Shackleton. To understand that in the same decade that Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic Ocean, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole were tending to soldiers in the Crimean War, the Titanic sunk in the Atlantic and our country fought in the First World War. With this motivation to learn history children begin linking other subjects to history such as Art and Literature. Through using the children’s own experiences such as Covid – 19, the years of their birth and starting school and key events such as school trips we begin to demonstrate that History is an ever changing study.

Impact

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Through our inclusive and engaging curriculum the children leave Merton Infant School as confident historians with a better understanding of how our past shapes our future. They leave with all the skills and language they need to begin their Key Stage Two History learning.

 

History working wall

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