‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ (Marcus Garvey)
Our vision is for the children to learn about people and events that have gone before and, through an understanding of chronology, to understand how those people and events relate to each other and are perhaps connected and how they relate and connect to us in the present day. The historical curriculum should “make children feel that they belong, that knowledge is theirs for the taking, that they should be hopeful that they too can add to this rich human heritage.’’ Kidd, Curriculum of Hope). We want the children to be active agents in their learning.
As much as possible we would like the children to embrace historical learning, to know what it is to be a historian; to explore evidence and artefacts. Curiosity and interest tend to have positive effects and boredom and anxiety negative impacts. We encourage them to present their learning in a number of ways: discussions, presentations, debates, written work and exhibitions.
What our pupils say:
“I really enjoyed our topic of the Aztecs because we got to cook and eat Aztec food more than once.”
“We learnt about Tutankamun – that they didn’t get the burial right because his feet were hacked off — we thought perhaps it was his uncle who did this. It wasn’t Howard Carter who discovered Tute- it was the water boy who then went and told Carter.”
“I loved being able to take part in the archaeological dig and act like a real archaeologist.”
“History is interesting. Finding out about the past– a time when I wasn’t here and learning about what they did in those days, is really fun. I can then experience that too. The Aztecs invented chocolate. We got to make the food such as salsa, guacamole and tortillas, that they made and taste some of their culture. It was delicious apart from the salsa– I didn’t really like that!”
“At Avoncroft Museum I liked making our own bricks and doing the wattle and daub. You got to see how in the olden days people got their homes built before they had bricks.”
“I find it much better when we get to be practical and do things to help with our learning rather than just receiving a load of facts to work with. Our Aztec box is personal to us. They are all different. They show us what we have learnt personally. I will probably remember the learning better through this way. Each box is unique because each pupil is unique.”
History Exemplar, Dig into the Past – Dec ’21 History Exemplar, Inspirational Speeches – November 2020 History Exemplar, Aztec Experience – Autumn 2020