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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Number, shape and theory in the historic world

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2017 in Manchester. Karin Doull, University of RoehamptonApplying mathematical skills to develop historical understanding. This workshop investigates how maths can be used within the study of history to develop skills and enhance understanding. We consider how maths can be used...

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  • 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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  • Making sense of time: Chronology for beginners!

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2016 in Harrogate. Beverley Forrest, Leeds Trinity University and Stuart Tiffany, Farsley Farfield Primary School Bev and Stuart will introduce you to a range of ways in which you can make the teaching of time meaningful and fun for learners...

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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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  • 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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  • Poverty in Britain: A development study for Key Stage 2

    Article

    One of the requirements for Key Stage 2 history is for some history that extends beyond 1066. Various suggestions have been made including an examination of change within a social theme. The example given is Crime and Punishment but the opportunities for something interesting are vast. This article focuses on...

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  • Searching for the Shang in Shropshire

    Article

    The introduction of the new primary curriculum in September 2014 presented a range of challenges for primary schools. Within the history orders for Key Stage 2 were new areas of study including prehistoric Britain as a compulsory study, and new optional study areas of early Islamic civilisation and Shang China....

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  • From the Iron Age to Robin Hood

    Article

    Who lived in and changed Britain from the Iron Age to the time of Robin Hood c. 1200? ‘...if children are to ever fully appreciate history the development of historical time has to be central to our teaching methodologies' Introduction This lesson aims to provide an overview of this period, developing...

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  • KS1: Teaching about significant individuals

    Article

    Teaching about significant individuals at Key Stage 1. Workshop by Professor Penelope Hartnett, University of the West of England The history programme of study for Key Stage 1 requires pupils to be taught about: The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, some...

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  • From Home to the Front: World War I

    Article

    Events which encapsulate family, community, national and global history provide rich opportunities for engaging children. Some of these draw on positive memories associated with past events: the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, how people responded to the first flight to the moon, the Millennium celebrations. Yet it is perhaps gruelling...

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  • Ancient Sumer

    Article

    For many teachers and children alike, Ancient Sumer will be completely new. Although Sumer has always been an option for teaching about Early Civilisations, the fame of Ancient Egypt, as well as being a tried-and-tested topic, has meant that Sumer has perhaps been overlooked. There is little danger of failing...

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