History at Sandy Hill Academy

At Sandy Hill Academy, our vision is to provide all children with the ability to delve deeper and make connections to the past and the world in which they live now.  We aim for history to inspire children to actively explore different periods of time as well as cultures, in order to paint a bigger picture of how life today came about.   

We teach children the skills required to be a good historian; how to research and gather information, how to question information for authenticity, perspective and reliability.  History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, 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. 

We want our pupils to be passionate about history, to foster an awe and to wonder about the past and to actively  ask ‘why’ events happened.

In Nursery History is incorporated within the Understanding the World aspect of the EYFS curriculum. We continuously learn about people who are special to us and why we remember special times and events throughout the year. The Nursery children enjoyed creating their own poppies for Remembrance Day this year. 
"My mummy is special because I love her." Nursery child, aged 4.
"Poppies are for Remembrance Day." Nursery child, aged 3.
In Reception, History is incorporated within the 'Understanding the World' strand of learning. Over the year children will talk about members of their immediate family and community through ongoing discussions and when presenting their 'All About Me' box that they bring to school in September containing photographs of people who are special to them. In Reception we will look at key figures from the past and link these people to relevant and topical learning. Through these stories discussions will arise around common themes such as; bravery, difficult choices and kindness, and will talk about the children's experiences with these themes. We recently enjoyed a workshop provided by the RAF Museum and looked at transport in the past compared to the current day equivalent. 
"We saw a teddy bear on his travels!" Reception, age 5. 
"We talked about the people that we like to remember. We drew them on our poppies." Reception, age 4. 
Year 1
In Year 1 we have learnt about chronological order. We have sequenced events in our lives, sorted artefacts from distinctly different periods of time and matched them to people of different ages. We are enjoying learning about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. We made good comparisons with life then and life now.
"Guy Fawkes wore a big hat to hide his face." Year 1, age 5. 
"When Guy Fawkes was alive there was no electricity so he needed to use a lamp when it was dark." Year 1, age 5.
Year 2
In Year 2, we have been learning about The Great Fire of London. We learnt lots of facts including the date it started, why it spread so quickly and how it was stopped. We then made pop up houses to rebuild London.
We started by investigating our own time lines of our own lives so far so that we understood how time moves along and that things change as it does.
"I know that the fire spread quickly because the houses were made of wood and they were too close together." Year 2 pupil, age 6.
"The soldiers blew up the houses to stop the fire from spreading." Year 2 pupil, age 6.
Year 3
 In Year 3, the children are thoroughly enjoying their topic on Ancient Egypt.  They have learnt about the importance of the River Nile and why it was called 'The Gift of the Nile'.  They took on the role as egyptologists and analysed artefacts to find out what they know, think and wonder.  They have learnt about some of the most famous pharaohs and explored the symbols associated with pharaohs and sarcophagus's.  
'I was surprised to find out that clothes could be made from flax plants which grow along the River Nile' Year 3 child aged 8.
'I've enjoyed learning about the different pharaohs, because I didn't know anything about them before,' Year 3 child aged 7.   
Year 4
In Year 4, our topic this term has been The Romans Vs The Celts. We have learnt about when the Romans invaded Britain, what life was like here beforehand and about some of the famous people involved in this time period such as Julius Caesar. We had a very special visit from a Roman Legionary solider.
"The Roman day was my best day ever!" - Year 4 pupil, aged 8.
Year 5
In Year 5, we have been really enjoying our Viking topic. We have learnt all about how they settled in Britain compared their lives to ours. We have also completed some research about King Alfred the Great and his role in the Viking invasion.
"I have really enjoyed learning all about the vicious Vikings" Year 5 pupil, aged 9.
Year 6
In Year 6, we have used the topic of WW2 as our basis for historical learning. Children have focused on chronological understanding and used a range of sources to understand more about this period of time. 
'I found learning about the gas chambers in World War 2 interesting.' Year 6 pupil
The Wider Curriculum 
'We had a lot of fun on the video call with the RAF museum - I learned a lot about where to go when Air Raids happen' Year 6 pupil
Year 6 had a great video meeting where the RAF Museum in London brought the museum to Sandy Hill with an informative workshop! 
Useful websites for Pupils and Parents/Carers 
Teaching and Learning Principles
Active History across the school 
History Curriculum Overview
Skills Progression - History
Below are skills progression maps for history at Sandy Hill Academy

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