Friday, 20 July 2007

History: Out of order?

Children must be taught landmark dates in chronological order from primary school, to give them a common sense of British history and identity, Ofsted has told the Government.

Far from knowing the order of key events, such as the Battle of Hastings or the signing of Magna Carta, pupils have no overview of history and cannot answer the 'big questions' it poses. Not only are key events in British and world history overlooked, but without a sense of the order in which they occurred, students cannot make any connections with the periods that they have studied.

This is what we teach in history in our school (in order from year 3): Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Romans, Vikings, Tudors and Britain since 1930. I can't help think that we get it wrong! Do we need to teach about two ancient civilisations? Why can't we teach Victorians as well? It will be interesting to see what happens when we join up with our infant school in September. I'm looking forward to finding out where our new subject leader will steer the subject.

As far as our history in Year Six goes next year we will continue to teach Britain since 1930 but our focus will purely be on the Home Front and World War 2. In the past we have tried to cram in so much, but the children love our study of the war and I can't help feeling that we'd do it more justice if we focused on this period and its legacy for the year.

I'd like to create a sort of World War Two garden outside my classroom. I want it to include a miniature Anderson shelter as well as growing some vegetables. Does anyone have any ideas? The photo shows a victory garden I found on the internet. At the moment this is my only source for inspiration!

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