“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”
- Marcus Garvey
At Coxheath Primary School, we seek to provide children with a range of experiences that enable them to gain an understanding of different civilisations from around the world and across a wide period of time. In their time in school, the children are encouraged to identify links and patterns between different eras, as well as consider why and how things changed. Children will learn about events within living memory as well as those beyond living memory. We talk with the children about how they are living through history themselves and how recent events such as the pandemic, the Queen’s platinum jubilee and the accession of the King will be things pupils in the future will be learning about and they themselves can recall and share information about.
Within our school, there may be the archaeologists, the museum curators, the archivists, the genealogists, the history teachers or tour guides of the future. Even those destined for a career away from history will still be fascinated when hearing stories of how people lived their lives or how empires were built and fell. Our history curriculum aims to inspire and excite the pupils to help them appreciate, question and understand events from the past. Our curriculum is planned to build as the children move through the school, with common themes revisited so they can see how societies have learnt from one another. It is also divided into two disciplines; that of knowledge of the past (substantive knowledge) and that of how we find out about the past (disciplinary knowledge).
Our curriculum encompasses local, British and world history. For example Year 1 children think about our own school and how it has changed over time, whereas Year 6 children consider the role the Workhouse in Coxheath had on the community and what evidence there is of it today in the village. Significant eras and events in British history are studied across all Key Stages including The Great Fire of London, Prehistoric Britain and Medieval Monarchs. In world history, pupils will learn about both ancient and modern civilisations such as the Kingdom of Benin, Ancient Greece and the civil rights movement. In Key Stage One, pupils will explore themes such as cause and consequence. Children in Key Stage Two move on to learning about eras in chronological order, developing a personal timeline of events and eras.
Throughout their time at Coxheath, the pupils will have had the opportunity to hear stories set in the past or about people from the past, talk to people beyond their generation, handle objects and artefacts, be part of workshops and attend visits linked with their history focus.