At SMSP, we have developed our History curriculum to fire children’s curiosity to know and understand about the past in Britain and the wider world.
SMSP children are encouraged to ask questions and to think critically about the past and how it has shaped our world today. They learn to analyse sources of evidence and critically examine arguments – vital skills for modern life.
Our History curriculum helps children to understand the process of change and how this has shaped many aspects of our world today. Children consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events, periods of time and people. They learn how to empathise with people from different eras and how to compare and contrast life in different times. This helps them to understand their own identity and that of others in Britain and the wider world.
Children begin to recognise that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways, and they begin to develop a notion of change and continuity over time. There is a strong focus on building children’s knowledge of British History in chronological order throughout Key Stages 1 and 2.
In the EYFS, children learn about how they themselves have changed and developed during their lifetime. They explore the past through characters and events portrayed in a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Their understanding is developed further through visits, such as Windsor Castle, where they observe similarities and differences between the past and present. The children in the EYFS join the school in marking poignant days such as Remembrance Day, where they find out about key historical events.
During Key Stage 1, children learn about significant people and lifestyles in the past, and begin to understand how the past is different from the present. This includes a study of toys, homes and the seaside in the past, as well as the Fire of London and Florence Nightingale.
In Key Stage 2, children’s knowledge of different periods, events, people and places is extended through the study of the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Stone Age to Iron Age, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Maya civilisations and changes in Britain in the 20th Century. The curriculum is evolving to reflect modern history with topics such as the Windrush Generation, the indigenous people of Australia and the history of Palestine and Israel.
Our History curriculum is enriched with drama workshops and regular opportunities to visit many of London’s excellent museums, local historical buildings and places of interest which offer unique environments to immerse children in learning experiences that provoke imagination and develop subject knowledge.
We celebrate the wealth of history in our local area by studying and naming our house teams after individuals who have made significant contributions throughout history, such as Horace Warpole as well as study other historical figures such as Alan Turing.
Children learn about all races, cultures and communities in lessons throughout the year and, in October, we celebrate Black History Month by learning about inspirational people of colour; their achievements and their impact on society.
Children express their learning through art, drama, discussion and writing. Themed days, where the children dress in character and experience life in the time period, deepen the learning and are a great source of enjoyment.