What is History at Reedings?
History at Reedings focuses on the skills children need to be confident young historians; enquiry, investigation and comparison, whilst developing their knowledge of the past and understanding of chronology. In their time with us, we hope to ignite in the children a passion for the past, and to help them to develop an understanding of how the past has shaped the present.
We aim to support the children as they work as young archaeologists, finding and examining sources, history detectives who look for clues and evidence in those sources and, finally, young historians who consider the evidence, make links back to earlier learning, ask and answer questions, and draw conclusions.
How is History organised at Reedings?
Throughout their four years at Reedings, children will revisit themes such as settlement and society, considering them in more complex ways and with increasing independence as their abilities and their understanding progress. Likewise, the societies covered become more complex, as our curriculum is organised in a roughly chronological way, which means that more simple societal structures – such as the Stone-age - are explored by the younger years, whilst more recent civilisations with their more challenging organisations are studied by the older children.
In Year 6, there is more of an emphasis on how societies change and develop, both through a study of crime and punishment from the Ancient Romans to now, and also through the study of a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history, where the children compare The Maya to a concurrent society which they have already covered – The Vikings. This ability to make comparisons and draw on prior learning is an essential skill that will support the children as they move to KS3.
We also celebrate local history at Reedings, with a whole term of Year 5 spent exploring significant people and places in the vicinity. This builds on teaching from KS1, where the children learn about significant individuals such as Brunel, as well as completing a local study in Year 2. An important aspect of this unit is first-hand experience – they visit the local church and, with support, devise their own questions to research.
What makes History exciting at Reedings?
We understand at Reedings that children learn about history best when they have first-hand experiences, as this not only brings the subject to life but also helps them to understand how the past has helped to shape the present. We have a rich programme of trips and visitors – such as Celtic Harmony in Year 3 and West Stow in Year 5, as well as History off the Page in Year 4 – and also celebrate remembrance with our ‘War and Peace’ days every November. These days are designed to give our children an insight into both world wars, focusing on WW1 in Year 3 and different aspects of WW2 in subsequent years. This supports our children as they move to KS3 where the wars are studied in depth. During these days, Year 5 children investigate how Sawbridgeworth was affected by WW2, giving them the opportunity to consider how our town was impacted by global affairs.
How does History at Reedings fit in with the wider curriculum?
History is taught for two terms each year and provides cross-curricular links for other subjects; most notably reading and writing in English. Whilst we are keen for our children to learn about history in many ways, our primary concern is that they develop the skills that they need to make them successful historians.
The National Curriculum states that:
• A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
• It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.
• Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
• History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.’
Here at Reedings, our comprehensive curriculum is carefully designed to meet all of the above requirements and more. Our aim is for the children to develop a life-long love of history and to understand their own place within it. It is an exciting place to be!