Chronological Understanding

Sequencing, events, stories, pictures and periods over time to show how different times relate to each other and contribute to a coherent understanding of the past. You don’t have to teach topics in chronological order but need to relate the topics you teach to their chronological context.

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  • ‘Come all ye fisher lassies’

    Article

    When considering either ‘changes within living memory’ for Key Stage 1 or ‘an aspect or theme to develop children’s chronological understanding post 1066’ for Key Stage 2 it is important to focus on a clear observable change. This enables children to draw effective comparisons with their own experiences. Washday, bread...

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  • A cultural legacy: the theatre of ancient Greece

    Article

    Sometimes it is not easy to understand how the different units of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum were selected, but this is not true for the Ancient Greek unit. Since the renaissance period, knowledge of ‘the classics’ has been a central element for an educated man or woman. Ancient...

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  • Ankhu and Nebu of Deir el Medina

    Article

    Perhaps the hardest skill to develop in history is a sense of period. What was it really like to live in Ancient Egypt? Who should we study? Or, in this case, which workers were typical? Were these craftsmen in Deir el Medina typical of all the workers in Egypt? Or...

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  • Developing early history skills and understanding through the EYFS

    Article

    Read more like this: EYFS scheme of work EYFS Medium term plan: Toys and Games Early Years Foundation Stage (article) Early Years: learning about the past (article) Using 'Development Matters' in the Foundation Stage (article) For many children, going to nursery school is a key part of their day. It...

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  • The Elizabeth cake

    Article

    Hidden away on top of a dusty, battered cupboard in a local primary school were two equally dusty and battered log books. Each has seen better days and each could provide a range of links to local and national history. The log book was one of two found in one...

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  • ‘Miss, did the Romans build pyramids?’

    Article

    See also: Comparing Ancient Civilisations - scheme of work Romans, Anglo-Saxons & Vikings lessons Teaching Ancient Egypt The Maya - scheme of work Miss, did the Romans build pyramids? No Johnny, I think you are confusing the Romans with the Egyptians. Actually, Miss, the Romans did build pyramids – well,...

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  • Getting to grips with concepts in primary history

    Article

    Perhaps one of the most perplexing aspects of teaching history is the fostering of conceptual understanding. History subject leaders often find this a challenging issue. Even if they have a decent grasp themselves, it can be difficult for others in the school who have to teach the subject. Over recent...

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  • The history of medicine – warts and all – for Key Stage 2

    Article

    The story of the history of medicine is HUGE! In fact, it’s a story within story within a story… You only have to note the substantial amounts that have been written on the subject in the past, to realise that this is a story that could baffle and perplex even...

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  • Trade and pilgrimage in the Abbasid Caliphate

    Article

    The Abbasid Caliphate stretched from North Africa across to Afghanistan and the North West Frontier. Within the caliphate there were movements of people, goods and ideas. The golden period of this early Islamic caliphate was around 900 AD. As the caliphs were building a major trading empire across the Middle...

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  • Resources for courses: ideas for your history curriculum

    Article

    In times of tight budgets and with the new financial year on the horizon in April, now might be a good time to look at different ways to resource your history curriculum effectively. Alongside all the resources for teachers available from Primary History and the HA website, the following list...

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  • To boldly go: exploring the explorers

    Article

    Exploration and a curiosity about the world are key human characteristics that have shaped and continue to shape our behaviour. Nowhere is this more true than with younger children who relish the opportunity to investigate their environment and all it contains. Promoting this natural curiosity and introducing stimulating challenge should...

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  • The potty timeline: an effective way of using timelines

    Article

    Timelines are a constant source of fascination. Rows of events and time periods all jostling for position on an eternal line, cramming together or strung out with wide gaps between them. In our primary classrooms, however, the vastness of timelines can be diminished as we crop them on computers and...

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  • Elizabethan times: Just banquets and fun?

    Article

    Although much of the Key Stage 2 history curriculum relates to the period before 1066, we are expected to include 'a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066' (DfE, 2013,p.5) This raises two questions:a) How can a post-1066 topic be related...

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  • Why stop at the Tudors?

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 When deciding to teach the topic of Benin to my Year 5 pupils I was somewhat daunted by the fact that I had never taught it before, and I was determined that it be a meaningful experience which benefited their narrative, chronological and historical skills-based understanding of...

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  • Here comes the ‘60s

    Article

    The 1960s were a decade of great change in Britain. The previous decade had seen America begin its gradual global cultural domination while Britain had to revise its role from imperial state to a member of the new Commonwealth of Nations. Recovery from the war had not been easy and...

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  • Having fun through time

    Article

    This article is about planning and teaching about ‘having fun across time’ for use in the later years of Key Stage 2 – investigating questions such as ‘Were people having fun in the same ways in the Middle Ages as in the Roman or Victorian periods?’ ‘What did our parents...

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  • Learning about the past through toys and games

    Article

    A learning theme centred on toys and games is perfect for younger children as the Early Years curriculum is, of course, all about learning through play. Planned carefully, it can also provide many opportunities for children to develop their understanding of the past. Adult-directed learning opportunities Provide the children with...

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  • How do pupils understand historical time?

    Article

    One of the key aims of the English history National Curriculum is to ensure that pupils ‘know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative’. Teaching chronology is also important in the Netherlands. In this article we cover some aspects of teaching and recent research from...

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  • Our Iron Age challenge

    Article

    The University of Chichester’s three-year BA (Hons) Degree for Primary Education and Teaching involves learning how to provide rigorous and creative educational opportunities for children. The course involves one creativity module each year. The final one involves the development of skills and confidence in creating problem-solving. Four of us were...

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  • So was everyone an ancient Egyptian?

    Article

    I will be honest – no child has actually asked me if the world was ever full of Ancient Egyptians! Having said that, by focusing on one part of the world, children are left with either this impression or the idea that nothing was happening elsewhere in the world. Clearly,...

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