At St Thomas Aquinas, we provide a high-quality history education, which helps our children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires our children's curiosity to know more about the past. Moreover, it prepares them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps our children to understand the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
At St Thomas Aquinas we follow The National Curriculum for History and we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
- Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
- Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
- Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
- Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Understanding the world
People and Communities:
22-36 months -
- To have a sense of own immediate family and relations.
- In pretend play, imitates everyday actions and events from own family and cultural background eg. Making and drinking tea.
- Learns that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them, from others.
30-50 months -
- To show interest in the lives of people who are familiar to them.
- To remember and talk about significant events in their own experiences.
- To recognise and describe special times or events for family or friends.
- To show interest in different occupations and ways of life.
- To know some things that make them unique, and to talk about some of the similarities and differences in relation to friends or family.
- To talk about past events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
- To know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
30-50 months -
- To comment and ask questions about aspects of their familiar world, such as the place where they live or the natural world.
- To talk about some of the things they have observed, such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.
- To talk about why things happen and how things work.
- To develop an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time.
40-60 months -
- To look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.
- To know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 children will develop an awareness of the past. They will learn about significant individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements. They will also study changes within living memory as well as events beyond living memory that are nationally or globally significant. They will learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 the children will continue to appreciate history in a chronological context. They will develop a secure understanding of British, local and world history. The children will consider connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will also learn to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of different sources and spend time looking at, and dealing with, different sources.
Throughout the school, History is taught through a cross-curricular approach where applicable and appropriate, so that children are immersed and gain a deeper insight into the topic they are studying. Educational visits and visitors are used so that children can see how the period they are studying fits into the wider world.