Developing enquiries

In the EYFS this needs to be kept simple and activities should carefully build on previous learning. Read more

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  • How can we teach about medieval Britain in primary schools?

    Article

    There is no question that the medieval period (no matter what timespan it claims) offers plenty of fascination for the primary pupil. It also allows some continuity with the period up to 1066 which forms the bedrock of the Key Stage 2 history curriculum. With opportunities to cover the medieval...

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  • Scheme of work: Local history – the story of our High Street

    Article

    Teaching a unit that considers ‘changes within living times’ requires a focus that provides clear evidence of those changes. Children need to be able to identify specific differences as well as recognise relevant similarities. While we all still undertake shopping on a daily or weekly basis the processes involved in...

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  • Ideas for Assemblies: Refugee stories

    Article

    An assembly could focus on the achievements of their lives, experiences as child refugees and migrants, and how they overcame their difficulties. Their stories can be compared and contrasted with other refugees, such as children from the Kindertransport and child refugees in Europe today. It is important that children understand the term ‘refugee’...

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  • Why is diversity so important and how can we approach it?

    Article

    Imagine what the following scenarios tell you about the past – a Tudor role-play of Queen Elizabeth visiting Kenilworth Castle; a photograph of London during the Blitz; a picture of Viking warriors attacking Lindisfarne monastery. The first of the images can perhaps draw on a family visit to an event...

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  • Learning about the past through ‘ourselves and our families’

    Article

    ‘Ourselves and our families’ is a popular theme in foundation settings and Reception classes. It is often undertaken at the beginning of the academic year, although it can be taught later when teachers have a better understanding of children’s home circumstances. This theme can provide many opportunities for children to...

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  • HA Enquiry Toolkit

    Article

    An enquiry approach is becoming more popular for teaching many primary curriculum subjects. However, enquiry has always been the backbone of good history teaching. Knowing what constitutes a good historical enquiry and how to build one that will enable your pupils to get better at history is not as easy...

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  • Local history and a sense of identity

    Article

    The history co-ordinator often finds some real challenges as well as opportunities in addressing local history in primary schools. The advantages are well rehearsed – making history relevant to the lives of the children and giving them an improved sense of identity and place through engagement with the ‘real thing’....

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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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  • Beyond compare a study of Beatrix Potter and Benjamin Zephaniah

    Article

    The Key Stage 1 National Curriculum encourages teachers to teach their pupils about ‘the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.’ (DfE, 2014, p. 205). Some teachers have begun to move away from the old favourite subject of Florence Nightingale and as...

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  • Resourcing primary history: How to avoid going for any old thing

    Article

    The recent survey of history teaching in primary schools conducted by the Historical Association revealed that the majority of respondents felt that they were short of resources to teach the revised National Curriculum. Not surprisingly most schools look to find resources that do the job cheaply. It is a truism...

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  • Planning for 'Changes within Living Memory'

    Article

    While changes to the Key Stage 1 subject content are not as extensive as Key Stage 2 it is necessary to be aware of the changing emphasis within the different themes. ‘Changes within Living Memory' has a couple of key issues to be aware of. First, ‘living memory' refers to...

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  • Sarah Forbes Bonetta: Scheme of Work

    Article

    Children are introduced to the idea of significance, and how this might change over time. Sarah Forbes Bonetta – we don't even know her real name – was an African princess, a slave in West Africa, a god-daughter of Queen Victoria, a wife, mother and missionary teacher. Does that make her...

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  • Developing enjoyable historical investigations

    Article

    About 2,000 years ago, a baby was born. No, not that baby. Not Jesus. This baby was a girl. Where she was born and what she was called we don't know but I'll call her Helena - it feels rude to go on just calling her ‘she'. When Helena grew up she became wealthy. Perhaps...

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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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  • 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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  • Using 'Development Matters' in the Foundation stage

    Article

    Using ‘Development Matters' to plan learning for history in the Foundation stage You won't find the term history in the Early Years curriculum framework at all. That being so, it can be difficult to know how best to support our Nursery and Reception colleagues when developing historical understanding within the...

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  • Implementing the 2014 curriculum in Year 2

    Article

    A first attempt at implementing the 2014 history curriculum in Year 2 The chance to pilot the new National Curriculum presented me with the opportunity I was looking for to revamp a tired Year 2 curriculum. I began teaching in Year 2 two years ago, having previously spent five years working...

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  • The 2014 History National Curriculum: how to get the best from heritage

    Article

    We all know that site visits are good for children - not least because they give a break from the normal school routine - and there are a plethora of heritage sites both local and national that are able to offer facilities for school visits. But we also know that...

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  • Chronology: Developing a coherent knowledge

    Article

    Chronology: Developing a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain's past and of the wider world First, this article considers the reasons why it is essential for children to develop a chronological framework. Next it considers ways in which this framework is necessary for the development of the time concepts set...

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  • The Great Fire of London and the National Curriculum

    Article

    The Great Fire of London is a favourite National Curriculum teaching topic. This paper draws on the latest resources and teaching ideas to suggest how you can meet both the NC history requirements and the wider ones of the National Curriculum, particularly in integrated programmes that include teaching about the Great...

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