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.
By following the EYFS Pilot Framework 2020, 'Understanding the world', St Thomas Aquinas aims to ensure that all pupils are taught to:
3 & 4 year olds:
- Talk about what they see, using a wide vocabulary .
- Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family's history.
- Comment on images of familiar situations in the past.
- Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.
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.