The importance of history vocabulary

Primary History article

By Steve Davy, published 26th May 2015

Beyond phonics! Terminology for history

Teachers and schools should surely be forgiven for quickly turning to the pages containing the ‘subject content' - within the new 2014 history curriculum - and finding out ‘what' they should be teaching. This is especially true for Key Stage 2 where children must now learn British history from the Stone Age up to 1066. Now, well into the academic year, we have an opportunity to reflect on our delivery of the 2014 curriculum.

Within the overarching aims of the new history curriculum, pupils are required to:

  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire', ‘civilisation', ‘parliament' and ‘peasantry'.
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.

If we are to ensure that we have an outstanding history curriculum in our schools, we must understand what progression will look like in relation to vocabulary and historical terms...

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