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History

History at St. Paul’s Primary School aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the human past, including its chronology and investigate how the past has influenced and affected our lives today. We aim to understand and appreciate cultural identity and foster respect for others, whilst simultaneously challenging children to make sense of the similarities and differences in human experiences across time and place.

At St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, we want children from a very early age, to see History as a discipline, where evidence is collected, examined and analysed to explain problems of the past.  Children recognise that patterns of the past are very often visible in the present, which provides a fundamental perspective for understanding current and future problems.  At St Paul’s we aim to help children understand their place in the world and the long history of human development.

 History begins in the EYFS curriculum where the early learning goal ‘Past and Present’ requires children to talk about their families and community, comment on images of familiar situations in the past and compare characters from stories in the past.  They begin organise events using basic chronology, recognising that things happened before they were born.

 In Key Stage 1, children enjoy hands-on experiences, such as visiting the local area, looking at buildings of historical importance and investigating how their locality has changed over time.   Pupils investigate events in History, such as ‘The Great Fire of London’ and act as ‘history detectives’, exploring why there are different versions and accounts of the same event.  They use different sources of evidence to build up a picture of events and begin to evaluate the usefulness of those sources in terms of historical accuracy.

In Key Stage 2 History continues to be taught as a process of enquiry, an examination of the past, which demands a critical use of evidence.  Through historical enquiry children can be shown how to ask questions, select and evaluate evidence and to make judgments about the past. It can also be a vital way of showing children that there is often more than one side to a story and that history is multi-perspective.  A simple explanation of how we know a teddy bear is old in Year 1, develops into analysis of objects, for example, from the Sutton Hoo burial ground, where children are required to make suggestions about the way people lived, when studying Anglo-Saxon Britain.  

By the time children leave St Paul’s they appreciate that a historian’s explanation of the past is not necessarily a fixed and uncontested account.  Exploring historical narratives and practices at primary level will prepare children for their transition into Key Stage 3.