A view from the classroom: Teachers TV, The Staffordshire Hoard And 'Doing History'

Primary History article

By Cathie Mcllroy, published 9th August 2010

When the Historical Association was approached by Teachers' TV to produce ‘Great Ideas for Teaching History' at Key Stage 2, it was inevitable that I, as a full time teacher on the Primary Committee, would have no escape. My school agreed I could take part, with the involvement of two teachers, support staff and pupils in Key Stage 2. We planned the programmes in full expectation that the new National Curriculum for Primary would be implemented: hence this piece's presence in Curriculum Advice and Guidance.

Planning: principles and context

The planning forced me to think about what the essentials are for learning and doing history. How can children best understand the story of the past? If looking at the past is a mystery to be solved, then the key to finding the answers is by raising questions. Here was the starting point. The next issue was the context. Initially, I proposed to do an investigation into the Staffordshire Hoard, which I had trialled with a Year 2 class in the Autumn term as a small-scale Local History project. However, the Teachers TV remit required three episodes and two teachers. So, the two lower Key Stage 2 teachers agreed to join the project. The planning became a collaborative exercise between Jon Nichol from the HA Primary Committee, staff at my school, the producer from Teachers' TV and myself. We each brought different expertise and met to discuss and agree the final plans.

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