Primary History 89: Out now

The primary education journal of the Historical Association

By Damienne Clarke (editor), published 26th November 2021


Read Primary History 89

Welcome to Primary History 89! It is always a joy to work with people who share a love of history, and who engage with history learning and teaching in so many different ways. One of the things I love is everyone’s willingness to share their knowledge, experience and expertise in order to support others. Whenever I read the latest edition of Primary History I come away with new learning, new ideas and new insights. This edition is no different, and I very much hope that you are also inspired and supported by the articles within its pages.

Ofsted published their history research review (encompassing both primary and secondary history teaching and learning) in July 2021. Tim Lomas has compiled a useful summary of this to support subject leaders when reflecting on their history provision. I read Tim’s summary alongside the full review and found it hugely helpful in distilling its key messages.

The revised EYFS framework became statutory from September 2021 and we are fortunate to be able to share case studies from two early adopter schools in this edition. Simon Ellis from St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Uxbridge, and Mackay Howe from Moorgate Primary Academy in Tamworth share their different approaches to how they adopted and interpreted the changes to the EYFS Framework last year, with specific reference to ‘Understanding the World’, and ‘Past and Present’. I’m sure that you will find these case studies both interesting and useful.

Children’s history learning is a journey to which we all contribute, and the transition from primary to secondary school is a key part of this. Kerry Somers and Phil Thomas consider effective transition, sharing outcomes from conversations held with both primary and secondary history teachers from schools in their locality. Their article presents a strong rationale for primary and secondary colleagues working together to support children on their whole journey of history learning and emphasises just how much we can learn from each other.

One of the many strengths of Primary History is the varied range of articles it brings to its readers. Matt Flynn reflects on the importance of ensuring that children have opportunities to explore diverse, and often overlooked histories, and he considers ways in which Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history can be meaningfully included within the primary history curriculum.

Karin Doull’s article about inspirational women and modern pioneers of space opens up many different and exciting avenues of enquiry which could be explored in Key Stage 1. Paul Bracey’s article about teaching ‘these islands’ from prehistoric times to 1066 tackles a huge span of history (and geography!) relating to the first National Curriculum aim that children should know and understand the history of ‘these islands’. One side of our centre-page poster is a map resource to accompany Paul’s article.

Alf Wilkinson poses and explores the question, ‘Whatever did the Greeks do for us?’ in his article and Stuart Boydell’s poster (designed for the children in your classes) presents some interesting and fun facts about ancient Greece. Susie Townsend explores sporting legacy and its related history of endeavour within her article (and it’s no surprise to see the influence of the ancient Greeks there too!).

Ahead of the release of the 1921 Census (in January 2022), Tim Lomas’s article combines consideration of this significant anniversary within the context of a local study, and considers how effective use of the Census can be made in the primary history classroom.

I was particularly excited by Kate Rigby’s favourite history place, Oakham Castle. I have lived in a neighbouring county to Oakham Castle for over 20 years but, until reading Kate’s article, knew very little about it and had never visited – something I hope to have rectified before this edition is published!

Finally, our back pages showcase Wyborne Primary School’s wonderful school museum! It’s a super way to ignite children’s curiosity and interest and provide day-to-day engagement with history. If you are interested in setting up your own school museum then here is the inspiration for you!

I hope you enjoy this edition of Primary History. If you are interested in contributing to a future edition, please do contact us with your ideas. We would love to hear from you.