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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom of England

    Article

    The Vikings will be familiar territory to many primary teachers. For many, therefore, this section of the history curriculum should cause fewer headaches than others. This does not mean, however, that it is all straightforward. This article contains a number of elements that teachers might welcome including a timeline of...

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  • Pull-out Posters: Primary History 69

    Article

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  • Assessment and Progression without levels

    Article

    The new (2014) Primary History National Curriculum is finally upon us. The first thing you might notice is that the level descriptions have gone. These were first introduced in 1995 and became the mainstay for assessing pupil progression and attainment in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 across schools in...

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  • What do we mean by Big Picture History?

    Article

    Perhaps the best way to start thinking about Big Picture history is to say what it is not - it is not about rote learning dates or remembering ‘famous people and events' - Alfred the Great, The Battle of Hastings, Henry VIII, Florence Nightingale ....and so on! This factual knowledge...

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  • The Maya: a 4,000-year-old civilisation in the Americas

    Article

    Obscured by the fame of the Aztec empire or shrouded by a veil of mystery, the cultural history of the Maya has generally been misunderstood by the British public. Maya civilisation developed in a territory the size of Germany and Denmark together (nearly 400,000 km2). This vast territory shows three...

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  • Investigating the Indus Valley (2600-1900 B.C.)

    Article

    In 1924 The Illustrated London News broke the story of a sensational discovery in the Indian subcontinent. Ruined mounds at Mohenjodaro and Harappa, 600 km apart, were forgotten cities of a lost civilisation. Nearly all we know about the Indus Civilisation comes from archaeology. What survives leaves many unanswered questions,...

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  • Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots

    Article

    Anglo-Saxons have been a part of the primary national curriculum from the onset so they may not be as unfamiliar to teachers as some themes. Many teachers also report that pupils enjoy studying them so there is clearly much in their favour. That does not mean, however, that all is...

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  • Place-names and the National Curriculum for History

    Article

    Place-names, such as house or school names, are infinite in number and all around us. Every place-name may convey a message about the place. Often place-names record and celebrate local and national people, events and incidents, define what a place looked like in the past and how we used to...

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  • Pull-out Posters: Primary History 68

    Article

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