The Stone Age to the Iron Age

British history at Key Stage 2 starts with the Stone Age. Historians and archaeologists disagree about when exactly the Stone Age started and ended, but an estimated date according to evidence is around 8-10,000 BC until 4000BC. Cheddar Man is the oldest complete human skeleton to be found in Britain, dating from 7150 BC. The Iron Age starts in around 200BC and has continued ever since! This unit therefore covers at minimum 8-10,000 years of history – you cannot possibly cover everything, so you have to pick and choose your enquiry question carefully. The emphasis of the unit of study is upon change which can be a useful guide to help you focus planning.

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  • Film: Teaching Prehistory

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  • Historical fiction: it’s all made up, isn’t it?

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    One of the hardest things for children to develop in history is a sense of period. What was it really like to live in a Stone Age house for example, to get up every morning knowing if you didn’t collect food or hunt something then there would be nothing to...

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  • Turning technology: making life better in Iron Age Britain

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    See also: Stone Age to Iron Age - overview and depth Stone Age to Iron Age - scheme of work Our Iron Age challenge Iron Age Farm - film So who were the people living in Britain in the Iron Age? The Iron Age describes the period in Britain when...

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  • The Bronze Age: what was so special about copper and tin?

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    On first approaching this period it is possible to feel comfortable with the term ‘Bronze Age’ without ever really interrogating what this means. When did this period happen? What do we mean by the term the Bronze Age and was it different or the same around the world? Clearly there...

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  • Rethinking the Stone Age to Bronze Age

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    Every so often archaeologists make a discovery that forces you to sit up and take notice. It might challenge our traditional view of the period, or accepted beliefs about how people lived their everyday lives. One such discovery was made in the 1980s when an amateur archaeologist discovered some flint tools...

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  • The Standing Stone

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    ‘The Standing Stone’ story and the activities around it developed from several different starting-points. One was the requirement in the 2014 National Curriculum for history at Key Stage 2 for children to be taught prehistory, specifically about ‘changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age’, with Bronze...

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  • Teaching pre-history outside the classroom

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    From a visit to a local museum or heritage site, to using bushcraft skills to give pupils first-hand experience of what it might have been like to live in ancient times, teaching prehistory outside the classroom can really give this area of the curriculum the wow factor. The inclusion of...

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  • Our Iron Age challenge

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    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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  • Who's afraid of the Big Bad Bronze Age?

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    It’s September 1992 and in Dover archaeologists from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust are working alongside construction workers when six metres below ground they find some waterlogged planks. Thankfully, an expert in maritime archaeology is on site and he recognises that this could be a lot more than abandoned timber. Uncovering...

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  • TREE-mendous history!

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    Since the nineteenth century there has been a rich heritage of outdoor learning pedagogy in Europe, and today in Scandinavia the open air culture (frulitsliv) permeates Early Years education. In 1993 Bridgewater College nursery nurses returned from a visit to Denmark enthused by the outdoor educational settings and started their own ‘Forest School'. From 1995 the college...

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  • Pull-out Posters: Primary History 69

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  • Place-names and the National Curriculum for History

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    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

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  • Scheme of Work: Stone Age to Iron Age

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    Children can be introduced to the idea that people have been living in Britain for a very long time. They can learn about the changes that occurred between the middle Stone Age (Mesolithic Times) to the Iron Age – a period of over 10,000 years! Pupils should be encouraged to...

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  • Britain from the Iron Age to Robin Hood

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    ‘...if children are to ever fully appreciate history the development of historical time has to be central to our teaching methodologies' This lesson aims to provide an overview of this period, developing pupils' sense of chronology and their understanding of cause and consequence. The context for these ideas comes from...

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  • Stone Age to Iron Age - overview and depth

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    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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  • Using the back cover image: Windmill Hill

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    The back cover image is a reconstruction of prehistoric life based on the English Heritage site Windmill Hill. Such images are of great value to the teacher in bringing the distant past to life, and in deepening pupil understanding of its historical significance. Using these sorts of illustrations can help...

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  • Prehistoric Scotland

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    Prehistory is an attempt to reconstruct the story of human societies inhabiting a given region before the full historical record opens there. Its data, furnished by archaeology, are the constructions members of such societies erected and the durable objects they made. The events which should form its subject matter naturally...

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  • Celtic Britain: the land the Romans conquered

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    Literacy was addressed throughout these lessons: introducing the text and the materials about the island, then working on the production of the travel brochure and other materials. We focused very sharply upon the idea of the travel brochure genre to communicate knowledge and understanding. These were the first two lessons...

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  • Prehistoric Bristol

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    This period is represented in the valley of the Bristol Avon by the Acheulian industries, named from the type station of St. Acheul in the Somme valley, which has yielded many ovate and pear-shaped hand-axes characteristic of the period. These industries flourished during the very long Second Interglacial phase, a...

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