The aim of history teaching here at Hackney New Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity, and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today. We also teach them to investigate past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
At Hackney New Primary School, the teaching of history focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on bring history to life through examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each year group, we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past and we recognise and value the importance of stories and books in history teaching, regarding this as a crucial way of stimulating interest in the past.
Our History curriculum is cross-curricular in nature. For example, in Reception, the history curriculum is an integral part of Understanding of the World and is organised on a topic basis. To facilitate the development of concepts, skills and dimensions, teachers provide experiences by drawing on an assortment of resources. Children learn to sequence events and objects, in order to develop a sense of chronology, to sequence events in stories, use time related vocabulary e.g. yesterday, today, before, after, old, new, next, first and last. Children compare past and present events in their own lives and those of people they know use a range of resources to find out about the past and to identify similarities and differences between now and the past. History also contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that we use in English are historical in nature e.g. The Great Fire of London, The History of Toys (Major Glad; Major Dizzy by Janette Oke). We also use history to explore beliefs and experiences as well as a way of providing children with the opportunity to discuss moral questions and dilemmas.