History is about real people who lived, and real events which happened in the past. History is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past; it gives us a sense of identity, set within our social, political, cultural and economic relationships. History fires the children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and plays an essential part in preparing us for living and working in the contemporary world.
Children consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions.
As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
In history, children find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are prized in adult life.
At St Mary’s, history is not only simple facts and dates but it also encourages pupils to become detectives who explore the past in an exciting way. History is taught mainly through a topic based approach and gives pupils a chance to explore a wide range of sources from which the past may come alive.
History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life. We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts and wherever possible arranging field work visits to relevant sites of historical interest in the region or bringing in specialists for in-school workshops.