The view from the classroom

Primary History article

By Cathie McIlroy, published 25th March 2010

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

As teachers we are all responsible, with our pupils, for the environment within our classrooms. Together we create calm and order, challenge and activity. The environment beyond is of infinite variety.

The view from my first classroom stretched beneath the skyline from one hillside to another. In the middle distance lay the local town, a mixture of Cotswold stone dominated by brick mills and houses, surrounded by valleys. I looked out of the first floor window upon the playground and playing fields in awe. It was late July; quiet holiday stillness.

The room itself was a bit of a muddle, but the few books, shelves and cupboard were easily sorted. That past is another country - and simpler: no photocopying, computers, National Curriculum, SAT s or inspectors save for the occasional local visit or an HMI.

My first job took me to a new place, my pupils potentially knew more about the locality than I did. I lived over a shop handily beside the museum good for classroom loans of flint tools and ancient pottery. The walk from school to the swimming baths was a nature study through fields and the walk up through the new housing estate took us to the nearest village to study, still with its small school. The local churches provided evidence of the once rich wool trade with brasses to rub and tombs to see. A visit to the new Corinium Museum at Cirencester revealed more of life in Roman times. The burial chamber at Hetty Peglar's tump, Uley Bury and the nearby hill forts were all curious and stimulating places to visit. A Summer visit to Goodrich Castle high above the river showed how the landscape dictated its use.

This resource is FREE for Primary HA Members.

Non HA Members can get instant access for £2.75

Add to Basket Join the HA