A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.' Marcus Garvey
“The children at Morley Victoria were amongst the best I have had the privilege of teaching. We explored the Stone-Age and worked on our historical skills. Each child was engaged with both the practical learning and the discussions we glued the day together with. I hope to return in the future and work with some of your other year groups. Thank you again to the staff and children in year 6 for a thoroughly enjoyable day.” Otzi (Adam) Stone Age History Workshop
"I love teaching History, it is one of the most popular subjects that the children enjoy." Teacher at MV
"I love learning about the past - it is so interesting and is my favourite subject." Pupil at MV
"The children spoke so knowledgably about History and linked different topics they had learned about - just brilliant!" - MV Governor
"I like learning about people from the past and how they used to live and the powerful people in History." Pupil at MV
"I like acting out events from the past." Pupil at MV
"History helps me with my English, we learn about the History and use that to write in English." Pupil at MV
History in EYFS
History knowledge, understanding and skill development in EYFS is taught under the ‘Understanding the World’ section of Development Matters. History taught by exploring and playing in purposeful well thought out areas of provision, through active learning and through creating and thinking critically.
In EYFS the children:
- Make connections between their family and others families.
- Begin to make sense of their own life story and families history.
- Describe and name people who are familiar to them.
- Comment on images from familiar situations from the past.
- Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.
The lessons provide children with a solid base to allow them to access the National Curriculum in Year 1.
The Purpose of History from the National Curriculum:
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.
The skills we teach from the National Curriculum: Chronological Understanding
Range and Depth of Knowledge
Interpreting History (cause, consequence, change, significance, compare and contrast)
Organisation and Communication.
At Morley Victoria we want to inspire children’s curiosity about the past and that of the wider world. We aim for our teaching of history to equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. We firmly believe that history helps children to understand the complexity of people's lives and the process of change. They will develop skills of historical enquiry, will gain perspective by placing their own knowledge into historical context and be able to use a range of different evidence.
In Key Stage One, the children are taught about changes within living memory as well as significant national events that are beyond living memory such as the Great Fire of London. In Key Stage Two, we teach history through topics such as the Romans, Ancient Greece and the Stone Age. These topics are usually taught through a cross-curricular approach and often incorporate writing skills, art, drama and dance. Where possible we encourage visits and visitors to enhance the children’s learning and this year have already had very successful workshops based on the Stone Age and Ancient Egyptians. Year 5 have also worked in teams to produce Egyptian dance sequences. We also set creative homework challenges which enable the children to take their learning in a direction of their choice. We celebrate their achievements in history both at home and at school in assemblies, on working walls in classrooms and in communal areas around school. We are also currently part of a three-year partnership programme working alongside Heritage England and Leeds Beckett University at the end of which we will be awarded a Heritage School status, which is a recognition of how we are using our immediate local environment to promote the children’s historical understanding.
Top 5 Reading Books (this was difficult to choose!):
1. Timelines of Everything (DK)
2. Viking Voyages (Jack Tite)
3. Great Women who made History (Kate Pankhurst)
4. The Great Fire of London (Emma Adams)
5. Any Little People Big Dreams Books
“All that matters is kindness and the capacity to recognise the existence of people other than you.” Zadie Smith, Author
“I really enjoyed Ruby's Worry and learning about the Bahamas. These were my favourite topics. I also enjoyed learning about Mary Seacole, I have a book about her at home.” - KS1 Pupil
“I have found learning about Black History interesting because it is about the past and about countries different to ours. Some of the people we have learnt about are kind and helpful and might inspire us to help people too.” - KS2 Pupil
"The Black History Curriculum is so interesting to teach. It has really enhanced both the learning and knowledge in my classroom" - MV Staff
"We are delighted that Senior Leaders have added Black History into the Curriculum, it is so valuable to the next generation." - MV Governor
At Morley Victoria, we have identified that Black History must be included in our already diverse curriculum. We have identified opportunities to embed learning throughout our pre-existing curriculum. In teaching this way, using a ‘black curriculum’ we can provide learning that is meaningful and relevant.
OUR AIMS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- To provide a sense of belonging and identity to the children we teach
- To teach an accessible educational Black British history curriculum that raises attainment for our pupils
- To improve social cohesion between young people in the UK
- To ensure our children are equipped with knowledge that enables them to form informed viewpoints, show empathy and respect to others
- To celebrate our differences in a safe, diverse and inclusive environment
We have planned a progressive Black British History curriculum that has cross curricular links to Geography, PSHE and the Arts that allows us to build holistic understanding of a complex topic.
In KS1, children will learn skills and knowledge that will form strong foundations to enable them to think critically about events of the past, their significance in British history and how these impact their lives in the present. Children will explore open-ended questions such as ‘What does it mean to belong?’ and be taken on an age-appropriate journey beginning at understanding the terms ‘empire, freedom and independence.’
In KS2, the children will build on their knowledge further, applying their understanding with the history topics already taught at MV such as the Romans, the Victorians and WW2. By year 6, children will confidently be able to consider and respond to current issues such as racism, activism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
RESOURCES AND WEBSITES
This resource provides an excellent and accessible timeline, described as ‘a timeline of two millennia of world-shaping individuals and momentous events that define Black history.’
TOP FIVE BOOKS
- Little Leaders: Bold Women and in Black History by Vashti Harrison
- Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison
- Look Up! By Nathan Bryon
- Coming To England by Floella Benjamin
- Black and British: A Short, Essential History by David Olusoga