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The aim of history teaching here at Flamstead End School is to stimulate the children's interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and, through this, they develop a sense of identity, and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus, they learn to value their own and other people's cultures in modern multi-cultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. In our school, history makes a significant contribution to citizenship education by teaching about how Britain developed as a democratic society. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving.
Our objectives in the teaching of history are:
• To foster in children an interest in the past, and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
• To enable children to know about significant events in British history, and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
• To develop a sense of chronology;
• To know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child's citizenship education;
• To understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture, and to study some aspects of European history;
• To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
• To help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
• To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
Teaching and learning style
History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each key stage, we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching, and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children to understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways, and that they should always ask searching questions, such as 'how do we know?', about information they are given.
We recognise that in all classes, children have a wide range of ability in history, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
• Setting tasks, which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
• Setting tasks of increasing difficulty, some children not completing all tasks;
• Grouping children by ability in the room, and setting different tasks for each ability group;
• Providing resources of different complexity, depending on the ability of the child;
• Using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.
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