At Mowlem, we aim to inspire children’s creativity, wonder and curiosity to learn more about the past and the world around them. Knowledge is the bedrock of how we teach history at Mowlem. The enquiry-based learning process is embedded throughout the history curriculum. Children are encouraged to analyse information by asking questions, thinking critically, evaluating evidence and eventually draw conclusions. Our curriculum develops the children’s awareness of themselves in relation to their community and the part they can play it.
Essential characteristics of historians
Develop curiosity to know more about the past, asking perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
- Excellent knowledge of changes within living memory - used, where appropriate, to reveal changes in national life
- Knowledge of Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
- Sound knowledge of chronology.
- Excellent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
- Knowledge of significant individuals.
- Establish clear narratives within and across periods studied
- Develop the appropriate use of historical terms
- Understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources
History in the Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, history forms part of the learning children acquire under the ‘Understanding the World' branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum.
Nursery and Reception child will learn through experiences that introduce the concept of time and change.
Teacher's often ask ‘What happened next?' after reading a story or looking at other sequences of events, such as getting dressed, planting a seed or making a sandwich. A popular focus is to get children to bring in photographs of themselves as babies and to discuss how they have changed over time.
In the Early Years children explore patterns and routines and are given opportunities to take part in events to celebrate time.
Here’s some examples of the ways history is brought to life in the Early Years:
- Children look at photographs of themselves and each other as babies and compare what they can do now with what they could do then.
- Children might bring in items from home to talk about, such as old toys their grandparents played with when they were little
The document below outlines in more detail the specific history objectives within the Early Years curriculum, what it looks like in practice, and demonstrates the links between the Early Years and the History curriculum.
History in the Early Years Foundation Stage
History in Key Stage 1 and 2
The History National Curriculum Breadth of Study in Key Stage 1 and 2
|Key Stage 1||Key Stage 2|
The lives of significant individuals in Britain’s past who have contributed to our nation’s achievements - scientists such as Isaac Newton or Michael Faraday, reformers such as Elizabeth Fry or William Wilberforce, medical pioneers such as William Harvey or Florence Nightingale, or creative geniuses such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Christina Rossetti.
Key events in the past that are significant nationally and globally, particularly those that coincide with festivals or other events that are commemorated throughout the year.
Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
The Roman Empire and its Impact on Britain.
Britain’s settlement by Anglo Saxons and Scots.
The Viking and Anglo Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England.
A local history study (World War II in Bethnal Green).
A study of a theme in British history (exploration).
Early Civilizations achievements and an in-depth study of one of the following: Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece.
A non-European society that contrasts with British history chosen from: Mayan Civilization.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years). Teachers check existing knowledge at the beginning of each history unit and this process informs a programme of study that is responsive to children’s interests. Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and checked and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.
The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. Visits to the local area and use of local artefacts, such as the use of maps and photographs of bomb damage to the local area in WWII, also support contextualised learning, as well as the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills. The history curriculum is designed to ensure appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about.
- Learning Journeys detail the overall outcomes for each unit.
- Learning Journeys detail the small steps that children will take to achieve the overall outcomes for each unit.
- They show how the unit builds on prior learning
- They show what children will learn in the future linked to what they are learning now.
- Learning Journeys are available on the school website – on the year group page or on the subject page
- They include key vocabulary for the unit
- They include details of the key content to be covered
If you would like printed copies of any journeys please let us know.
Sp: Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King
Su: Changes in Life over Time
Sp: The Great Fire of London
Sp: The Bronze and Iron Ages
Su: The Romans
Au: The Maya
Sp: World War 2, including Local History Study