The New National Curriculum

The new curriculum has lead to some significant changes but perhaps not as many as first thought. There is a shift here towards understanding how history ‘fits together’ and how events from one time period affect another. However, there is no longer any requirement to teach the different areas of study chronologically.

Key Stage 1

There are few major changes in Key Stage 1. The new curriculum is more specific and offers a longer list of significant individuals from the past whose lives have contributed to national and international achievements. But the list is not prescriptive, the choice of artists, engineers, explorers, inventors, pioneers, rulers, saints or scientists remains with schools. Our Florence Nightingale modules have provided massively popular, and if you have any particular character in mind please contact us.

Key Stage 2

Our Egyptian days are very well loved, and the requirement to carry out a world history study means that ancient Egypt is well and truly back on the agenda. A European history study requires a study of Ancient Greece and the influence of their civilization. The Ancient Greeks have been one of our most popular modules for the past few years and seems likely to remain so.

One entirely new area of study looks at changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. We teach history by looking at artefacts and our approach to this topic has been to make and source lots of new artefacts to illustrate the significant changes.

Children will continue to study of how British society was shaped by the movement and settlement of different peoples in the period before the Norman Conquest. Schools will look at the Romans, Anglo-Saxons or Vikings in Britain and we will continue to provide our well loved modules.

We will also continue to teach Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots, with perhaps a bit more emphasis on the Scots. This includes the Roman withdrawal from Britain, the fall of the western Roman Empire, the Scots invasions from Ireland to north Britain and the Anglo-Saxon “invasions” and settlement of England up until the time of Alfred the Great.

Indeed the Anglo-Saxon and Vikings, along with the Romans, have become of major importance as part of the key stage 2 curriculum. We can teach the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England, from Alfred the Great to the time of Edward the Confessor.

Schools can now study an aspect or theme in British history which extends chronological knowledge beyond 1066. This seems a very exciting opportunity for schools to explore a wide diversity of different areas, as well as to continue looking at topics such as the Tudors or World War II. We have a massive collection of artefacts and we can provide specific days for schools based on a whole range of topics which can also link to a local history study. We have artefacts from the Stone Age up to World War II, and suspect that in particular the anniversary of World War I will give schools a chance to link to what will be the largest national commemoration for some time. So if you are looking at Romans in your locality, Saxon of Viking place names, medieval castles, Tudor landscapes or your local involvement in World War I or II, please give us a call.

Our days promote skills such as: enquiry, deduction, investigation, note-taking, inferring, sorting, questioning, communicating, sequencing, considering, organising, listening, using appropriate vocabulary, presenting information and applying knowledge. The time allowed for teaching history is limited. However the skills children learn in our history days are specific and meaningful, re-enforcing their knowledge and understanding of history in an exciting and memorable way.