Arming pupils with key historical skills
Starting in Year 3, the department aims to teach pupils about how the world around them came about, and to arm pupils with key historical skills which will be important for their future studies. These include being able to place events in chronological order, understanding the concept of time-scale, identifying and describing changes over a period of time, why things happened or changed, and the results of things happening, identifying similarities and differences between past and present, developing empathy with peoples of the past, using and interpreting primary and secondary sources, understanding the difference between fact and opinion, beginning to develop the ability to interpret facts, developing an awareness of cause and effect, and developing IT Skills. Throughout the courses pupils greatly develop their analytical skills, their writing skills and their general historical knowledge.
From Glastonbury Abbey to Ancient Greece
In the Junior Department, pupils are taught about people and important events and developments from both recent and more distant times. Pupils are taught a variety of local, British and World History. In year 3, pupils look at the Age of Exploration, and in particular Christopher Columbus and Life of Board a Ship 500 years ago. They also study the Aztecs, and more locally, they look at the History of Glastonbury Abbey and of Joseph of Arimathea, which includes a visit to the Abbey. The following year pupils look at the Ancient Greeks (which includes a “Greek Experience” where pupils can try on Greek Costumes, listen to the language and sample Greek food), the Ancient Egyptians (including a visit to the Tutankhamun Exhibition in Dorchester), and The Celts (including a visit to a Celtic hill fort, and a locally reconstructed roundhouse). In Year 5, pupils study purely British History, looking at the Romans, the Anglo Saxons, and the Tudors, all of which include appropriate trips.
The Middle Ages, The Victorians, and the Second World War
In Year 6 pupils learn about the lives of children living through the Victorian era and the Second World War. In Year 7, pupils spend the year studying The Early Middle Ages, which includes The Norman Conquest, Life on a Medieval Manor, the Power of the Church, Henry II and Thomas Becket, the Crusades and Castles. In Year 8 pupils explore The Later Middle Ages, which includes The Hundred Years War, the Battle of Agincourt and Joan of Arc, The Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt. They move into the Tudor Age with a study of Henry VIII. All areas of study include relevant and interesting trips and visits and continue to develop their historical skills and understanding.