Curriculum – History

The National Curriculum states that: pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

In KS1: pupils should be taught about:

  • 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.

In the EYFS, History falls under ‘Understanding the World’

Understanding the World:

  • children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members

  • children make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

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Toys - Past and Present

Year 1 were able to work historically by exploring what toys were like in the past and comparing them to toys in the present.  They discovered that many toys in the past were in fact similar to the present such as dolls, wooden animals, jigsaws and story books.  The main difference was that many toys today are electronic.

They learnt that during World War 2 when the manufacture of toys was stopped, children had to use their initiative to find things around their homes to make into toys and wooden pegs made great toy dolls.  Year 1 then had the opportunity to make their own peg dolls.

Pupil voice:

“We learnt that some toys from the past are different from ours. We made a peg doll which was challenging to draw the clothes, hair and face!” (Georgia)

“I really liked making the peg doll as I got to choose what to dress the doll in.”  (Aima)

Significant Historical People

As part of our topic ‘To Infinity and Beyond’ Year 1 investigated the life and achievements of Neil Armstrong. The children ordered the events of Neil Armstrong’s life in chronological order.

“I like history because there are lots of things to discover that we don’t know. I learnt that Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the moon.” (Jonathan)

“I think Neil Armstrong was amazing! I learnt he had to work hard to become an astronaut and he loved flying.” (Joe B)