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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  • Stone Age to Iron Age - overview and depth

    Article

    Introduction Stone Age to Iron Age covers around 10,000 years, between the last Ice Age and the coming of the Romans. Such a long period is difficult for children to imagine, but putting the children into a living time-line across the classroom might help. In one sense not a lot...

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  • The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

    Article

    At this stage children should listen to stories, ask how and why; use the past, present and future tense; talk about the past and present in their own lives and the lives of family members; recognise similarities and differences between families and traditions, objects and materials; and role play and...

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  • Churches as a local historical source

    Article

    At Key Stage 1 children should learn about significant events, (e.g. the Great Fire of London) and about people and places in their locality. At Key Stage 2 they should learn about British settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots (e.g. Anglo-Saxon art and culture) and do a local history study (e.g....

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  • Ideas for Assemblies: historical events

    Article

    Here are a few suggestions for assemblies over the next few months (March-June); each idea is linked to a specific historical event from that month...

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  • Constructivist chronology and Horrible Histories

    Article

    Hilary Cooper illuminates how the Horrible Histories can be effectively used to develop an understanding of chronology. She researched two topics: children and law and order. You can download her full paper: it is included in Primary History 59 on Teaching Chronology.

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  • Chronology - an Olympic timeline

    Article

    Pat Hoodless illuminates how chronology can provide a spine, a backbone and an ‘essential framework' to support and shape pupil learning of NC History...

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  • Case Study 2: Creative chronological thinking

    Article

    Connecting with the pastPersonal biographiesI often ask groups to collect and record their own personal chronologies. They are asked to bring in evidence to tell the stories of their own lives or of the life of a relative, which they will then weave into a ‘photo book' story. The photo...

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  • Thematic or topic based whole school curriculum planning

    Article

    Case Study 1: Creative approaches to thematic or topic based whole school curriculum planningIntroductionCreative curricular planning With the National Curriculum under review, it seems that more schools are taking a creative approach to planning by delivering the curriculum through a focused theme or topic. This has allowed schools to take more...

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  • Creating the 'creative history' website

    Article

    Editorial note: The role of ICT in the Digital Age is a major, perhaps even, the major factor, in enhancing creativity in the learning and teaching of history. This paper illuminates another dimension of ICT in the Digital Age and creativity. It shows how a teacher's creativity  has produced a...

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  • OFSTED, primary history and creativity

    Article

    Co-ordinators concerns: OFSTED, primary history and creativityI'm told the emphasis in schools now is for a rigorous approach to history where the children are taught the main facts and features of history. I recall a time not so long ago when the whole curriculum was about creativity but surely I...

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  • A creative Egyptian project

    Article

    IntroductionIdeally when teaching history, teachers will look to deliver projects that will engage and motivate, hopefully making the hard work of being creative stimulating and rewarding, based upon questioning, enquiry, investigation of sources and reaching conclusions grounded in the evidence.Ancient Egypt is one of those history topics which, because it...

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  • Chronology through ICT

    Article

    Developing chronological understanding through the use of ICTIntroduction: Research into chronological understandingChronological understandingThis is both one of history's most important disciplinary organising concepts (Lee and Shemilt: 2004) required for developing a full understanding of history, and certainly one of the most researched, though often with a broader remit that just...

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  • Enriching young children's understanding of time

    Article

    IntroductionAs a primary teacher in the United States, I was sometimes caught off guard by students' ideas about time. Some 10-year-olds, I noticed, still could not read a clock or calculate the time between recess and lunch, and some thought that televisions hadn't been invented when I was young. Today,...

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  • Understanding Chronology at Key Stage 2

    Article

    What understanding of chronology can we expect of older primary school children?Introduction - Issues and ConcernsWas I wise to accept the invitation to write this piece? There has been little research to shed light on this question. The answer depends on how and what children have been taught about chronology,...

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  • Young children and chronology

    Article

    I was meant to have been born on my birthday, but I arrived a day late: young children and chronology How did you stop yourself from getting the plague? The quotation above from a child signal some of the challenges of teaching children about chronology in the primary school. Learning...

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  • Time, Chronology, language and story

    Article

    Time - chronological understandingTime, although an extremely complex, abstract concept, is one that begins to develop in children's minds as soon as they are born. Although it cannot be seen or touched and leaves no visible trace, very young children are quickly aware of it. As is well known, they...

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  • A View from the Classroom - Chronology

    Article

    Introduction As a teacher, the passing of time in a classroom may be: challenging, stimulating, appear endless, be subject to constant change, though never dull. Years pass, yet at times it can seem but yesterday, when I began to teach. My perception of time may be subject to personal recall,...

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  • Think Bubble - Jumping stories: selective chronology

    Article

    I recently finished a most interesting commission with the educational publishers, Schofield and Sims. They asked me to help put together a comprehensive timeline of British History to cover as broad a chronological perspective as possible. They wanted this to be the complete Cavemen to Cybermen story all on one...

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  • Developing pupils' chronological understanding

    Article

    The View from OfstedIn its latest triennial history survey report, History for all, Ofsted concluded that, ‘history teaching was good or betterin most primary schools' and, ‘most pupils reached the  end of Key Stage 2 with detailed knowledge derived from well-taught studies of individual topics'. The report went on to...

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  • Enhancing temporal cognition

    Article

    Practical activities for the primary classroom

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