History helps to understand why our world is the way it is. It helps children to understand themselves and the development of the things they see around them each day. At King Edward’s, History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians, to ask questions about people and events.
We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. Across the year groups we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and to talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognize 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 the 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 that they are given.
Topics studied range from the Stone Age to World War 2, as we aim to give our children a chronology of British history whilst also furnishing them with a lifelong interest in the history of cultures and countries from around the World. In Years 3 and 4, the children learn how the Stone Age and Celtic periods shaped our land. By the time our pupils reach Year 5, they are ready to study our monarchy and to research the different ways in which power has been shared by Parliament and Monarchs. In Year 6, linked to their study of Islam, the children study the Islamic Caliphate of Baghdad and look at the ways in which religion has impacted upon government. They look too at the role of propaganda on the Home Front in World War 2 and consider how war affected the population.
Recent trips to inspire our historians include a tour of the Roman Baths, imagining life as an evacuee at Swindon’s Steam Museum and visiting the site of the English Civil War Battle of Lansdown in the company of expert historian and former Headmaster, Dr Wroughton. The latter trip saw the children surveying the battlefield, re-enacting moments from the Battle and writing an imaginary account of the battle from the perspective of a Royal Musketeer.