History is taught in order to stimulate the pupils’ interest and understanding about significant events and the lives of significant people in the past and how these important factors have influenced our lives today.
We aim to foster in pupils an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer through knowing about significant events in British and world history appreciating how things have changed over time.
Children are taught to begin to develop a sense of chronology and to understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage.
Children will have the opportunity to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation through a variety of hands-on practical activities. Children experience real history through visitors to school, drama, visits to historical sites such as Norwich Castle and Holkham Hall. Such activities provide a stimulus for exciting and relatable cross curricular opportunities, including speaking and listening and writing. We also use artefacts, visual resources and Information Technology to inspire children to find out about the past.
History is planned and delivered in Key Stage 1 in line with the National Curriculum and is integrated within topic teaching.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn about history through child centred activities as part of their Understanding the World area of development.
History is taught cross curricular in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Early Learning Goal is called Understanding the World , People and communities. In Nursery and Reception children are encouraged to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. The children will learn through experiences that introduce the concept of time and change.
Your child’s teacher may ask ‘What happened next?’ after reading a story or looking at other sequences of events, such as getting dressed, planting a seed or making a sandwich. Children may be asked to think about themselves and how they have changed over time.
How you can help your child:
- Encourage your child’s awareness of features in the area you live. Point out how some buildings look older than others.
- Take your child to museums, galleries and history-themed events.
- Discuss events that occur regularly within your child’s experience, for example seasonal patterns, daily routines and celebrations.
- Help your child to develop a sense of change over time and help them to differentiate between past and present by growing plants or looking at photographs of their life. Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in those of other members of the family or friends.
- Encourage investigative behaviour and raise questions such as, ‘What do you think?’, ‘Tell me more about?’, ‘What will happen if..?’, ‘What else could we try?’, ‘What could it be used for?’ and ‘How might it work?’
- Use language relating to time in conversations, for example, ‘yesterday’, ‘old’, ‘past’, ‘now’ and ‘then’.
- Read stories that introduce a sense of time and people from the past.
In Year 1 we learn about a variety of interesting and inspiring topics. The topics which have a strong Historical focus are ‘Space’ and ‘Time Travellers’.
During the ‘Space’ topic we look at significant events and individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements, eg: the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin) and the first man on the moon (Neil Armstrong).
During the topic ‘Time Travellers’ we will learn facts and information about Queen Victoria, and we’ll visit Holkham Hall and learn about a typical Victorian day. On our visit we look back at the history of the building and families that lived there. When we learn about the Victorians, we research the industrial revolution and learn about a famous local person of national importance called Edith Cavell. In our cooking lessons we bake a traditional Victorian Sponge Cake.
In Year 2 we learn about a variety of exciting and thought provoking topics. The topics which have a strong Historical focus are ‘Medieval Norwich’ and ‘Land and Sea’.
Through the topic ‘Medieval Norwich’, we use a variety of sources to gather information including books, posters and the internet.
Our work focuses on how people lived and we identify differences between the past and present. We visit Norwich Castle as part of our history studies to allow the children to experience a castle first hand.
Our topic of ‘Air, Land and Sea’ includes work across lots of curriculum areas. In History we learn about Lord Admiral Nelson as he is a local figure in history. We also learn about the life of Monet and look at his famous artwork.
We’re looking forward to showing you pictures of our exciting Historical learning throughout the year so please check back regularly.
The children have been encouraged to talk about any significant past events in their or other people’s lives. Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in Early Years). Some of the observations are shown below:
A group of nursery children were pretending to camp in the tents. They took turns to cook breakfast and lunch and pretended to sleep in the tents. Children shared their experiences of sleeping in a tent. “It was cold,” “It was fun!” “We didn’t have a toilet!” “We had beans!” they explained.
A child talked about his experiences of riding the Cannonball Express roller coaster at Pleasure wood Hills. Whilst playing, he pretended to put his seat belt on and travel up and down the bumpy track.
During the topic Winter Wonderland the children have learnt about a significant person from the past, Robert Falcon Scott. They talked about why Robert Falcon Scott is significant, why he went to the Antarctic and they thought of reasons for and against Robert Falcon Scott going to the Antarctic.
As part of our topic Night time the children have learnt about a siginificant person from the past, Guy Fawkes. The children wrote about who Guy Fawkes was and why he is an important historical person.
They picked some items that Guy Fawkes might have used in 1605 and described how he would have used them. They then explained the difference between objects that Guy Fawkes could have used, compared with what he might have used today.
As part of our learning about History and British Values we invited the Dereham Branch of the Royal British Legion to come and talk to us about why we have Remembrance Day and why we wear a poppy. Mr King spoke to the children about the history of the British Legion and what conditions were like for people in the war. He showed the children a siren and asked if they thought it would wake them up. Mr King also spoke about how the Royal British Legion still helps people today who have been injured or affected by war. It was important for the children to understand why they buy poppies and how their money helps other people.
Reception classes have been talking about Remembrance Day and creating their own poppies.
Families across the Federation have created poppies using plastic bottles and yarn. These have been placed on the school gates and the net between the two schools.
Year 2 Medieval Day
We have been learning about life in medieval times. We had the opportunity to practise lots of different skills which were used in a castle. Staff from Goldcrest came into our school to work with all the Year 2 children and to teach them how to be an archer. We practised lots of archery skills. We learnt how to stand strong, how to hold the bow and how to shoot an arrow. We found it extremely interesting and exciting.
We also had the chance to be a jester. We entertained each other by balancing on stilts, and playing lots of games. We then became knights and took part in a jousting tournament.
In the afternoon our school hall was turned into a banquet hall. A lord and lady from each class sat on the top table and we ate bread, cheese and grapes together. Each class performed a medieval class dance for the other guests.
Castle Museum Trip
Year 2 have been on a trip to the Castle Museum in Norwich. They learnt about the history of the castle, the objects which were found in the castle, the daily life of the people and about the clothes the knights wore in battle.
Visiting real places that are historical really helps bring the learning to life for the children. They found out lots of things from their visit.
The children have been encouraged to talk about any significant past events in their own lives or the lives of others. Their discussions and interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in the Early Years). A summary of an observation is shown below:
R wore a blue tabard and held a plastic brick in one hand and a pipe in the other. He said, “I’m a knight!”
R told the adult he was with that he was also wearing a body armour “to protect” him from dragon fire and said the pipe and brick were his sword and shield.
The adult asked R where he lived and he said “In a castle!”
R was not sure what a crest was, so he discussed and found out about these and how different crests would be found at different castles, usually above the doors or gates. R also found out that knights usually had different coats of arms and crests on their armour and their shields. R and the adult looked up some pictures of crests and coats of arms and found out that they usually had pictures of lions, horses or dragons within them.
R then decided to make a crest for his shield and one for his armour. ‘
This term the topic of ‘Our Planet and Beyond’ has enabled the children to look at the history of space travel, including learning about the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova.
During the topic of ‘Step back in time’ the children have visited Holkham Hall to see and experience different aspects of Victorian life.
Year 1 Victorian Wash Day
The children experienced what it would have been like to wash their clothes in Victorian times. They took turns to have a go at each stage of this process and then hung the clothes on a washing line to dry.
These ‘hands on’ experiences were excellent ways to show the children how things have changed over time and how our lives now are similar but also very different from life in the past. The children noticed that we are very lucky to have machines to help us wash our clothes in modern times.
Year 1 Home Learning
As part of their Home Learning children had the opportunity to find out about how wedding ceremonies have changed over time by researching this out of school and with their family members. Children brought in photographs and shared lots of different details about wedding ceremonies of their parents and grandparents.
During the topic of ‘Art around the world’ the children found out about the life of a variety of artists such as Kandinsky and Andy Warhol and the impact they had on art history. Alongside this learning, the children also created art in the style of these artists. At our annual Toftwood Tate exhibition children shared their knowledge of artists and art history as they led tours for the many visitors to the school.
The children have also had the opportunity to learn about the history of art in other countries such as Australia and Egypt. They have seen and recreated some aboriginal art and Egyptian hieroglyphics as well as performing their own version of the Haka after learning about the Maori people from New Zealand.
Spring Term 2018
This term the children have been encouraged to reflect on Christmas and any other significant past events in their or other people’s lives. Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in Early Years). Some of the observations are shown below:
‘Emily was chatting to her friend in the role play area about her holiday to China. Her friend asked why she went to China. Emily said to see her brother, sister and her family. She told him that she went on an aeroplane, train and taxi to get there and how she was poorly on the aeroplane on the way home. Her friend asked what she did on the plane. Emily said that she watched films and played with toys.’
‘Noah announced he had made a hotel using the bricks. He told me people from other countries stay in hotels. I agreed that people from all over the world might stay in a hotel, especially if they were on holiday. Noah then recalled the time he stayed in a hotel, which was during his trip to Disneyland. I asked Noah to describe the hotel he stayed in so that we could add the details on his construction model.’
The topic of ‘Our Planet and Beyond’ has looked at the Geography of our planet this term. The children will learn about the history of space travel including learning about the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova in the Summer term. Keep looking on the History page for examples of work and photos.
During the topic of ‘Air, Land and Sea’ the children have learnt about Lord Admiral Nelson. They found out about important dates in his life and then created their own timeline. Some of the children were able to expand on the information and wrote more facts for each date. Here are some examples.
The children also learnt about the life of Claude Monet and then painted a picture of our pond area in the style of Monet using water colours.
The topic of ‘Art around the world’ has looked at the Geography of different countries in relation to the art they have produced. During the summer term the children will learn about the life of a variety of artists such as Kandinsky and Andy Warhol and the impact they had on art history. Keep looking on the History page for examples of work and photos.
History is taught in order to give pupils’ an interest in and understanding of significant events and people in the past, the influences that they have on our lives today and to teach them to have empathy with others (understanding that modern views of society are different to those held in the past).
We aim to enthuse pupils with an interest in the past, developing their understanding, enabling them to enjoy the richness of cultural and social heritage in Britain (including British values SMSC) and the world and appreciating how things have changed over time.
Pupils are taught to develop a sense of chronology and to understand society and their place within it. They are presented with opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation through a variety of activities. Pupils experience real history through themed days within school e.g. Roman Day for Year 4 and Viking Day for Year 5, drama, debates and visits to historical sites such as Norwich Castle Museum. Such activities provide a stimulus for cross-curricular opportunities, including speaking and listening and writing. We also use artefacts, visual resources and Information Technology to inspire children to learn more and stimulate their curiosity about the past.
History Autumn Term 2018
Year 5 Viking Day
On Thursday the 15th of November, Year 5 enjoyed a fantastic Viking visit. Our learning truly came to life with the help of Thorul Hammerson, our visiting Viking.
The children and teachers participated with true flair by dressing up as Vikings so Thorul felt at home with us for the day.
We learned all about Viking life with the help of artefacts that the children were fascinated to hold. We enjoyed a quiz to test our knowledge and a fun game of ‘Fox and Geese’
In the afternoon, children wowed us with their ability to soak up some old English language and were transfixed by a talk about weapons and armour. Who knew a blunt axe could split a watermelon in half as well as split your money into pieces!
This was a great day which the children continue to talk about.
Remembrance Day 2018
With the centenary of World War 1, Toftwood Juniors chose to commemorate the event by having a whole school assembly with Mrs Hughes and then discussing it further in class with the teachers.
The children understood why we wear a poppy as a symbol of Remembrance Day. The children across the Federation, have been creating their own poppies as a sign of respect. These were tied to the gates and fences of the Federation schools.
The day was also commemorated by the Kitchen staff. They baked and decorated poppy biscuits for the children as yet another visual reminder of Remembrance Day.
In class, the children participated in discussions about the trenches. They found the trench life of World War One unbelievably difficult to grasp and displayed great respect for the soldiers that took part in it. Many children also shared family anecdotes about their own relatives that had been in both World Wars.
History Spring Term 2018
The children have travelled from the Stone Age to the Iron Age during their History learning this term. This journey took them through the Bronze Age too. Everyone created a cave painting, baked rock cakes and enjoyed meeting a special visitor during Stone Age Day.
Year 4 have been learning about Anglo-Saxon life this term. Their work included a trip to Norwich Castle, where they met an Anglo-Saxon king and were able to handle many real and replica artefacts.
Year 5 have found out about the Mayan civilisation. During their work, the children designed and made their own Mayan masks and tried their hands at some Mayan cooking.
Year 6 focused their History learning this term on World War 2. This formed part of their ‘Conflict’ topic. As part of their learning, the children baked carrot scones using a recipe produced during times where ingredients were rationed.
History Autumn Term 2017
The Awesome Egyptians
During the topic ‘Awesome Egyptians’ the children have learned to locate Egypt in time and place. They have also discovered what daily life was like and why the Egyptians had so many gods. As part of their work, the children produced pictures of Tutankhamen and investigated how to make a mummy. The children also thoroughly enjoyed their Egyptian Day, which included food tasting and different art activities.
Year 4 have been learning about the Romans. Their ‘Hook Day’ for this work involved making mosaics, shields and learning how to march like a Roman soldier. The children went on to investigate how and why the Romans invaded Britain and Boudicca’s revolt. The children now know about this time, the Roman army and the legacy it left behind. Roman Day was also a great success with games and the chance for some children to wear replica Roman helmets.
Year 5 have been learning about the Vikings. The children looked at where they Vikings came from, where they settled and about the Viking way of life. As part of their work, everyone got to design and made their own Viking longboat and to bake Viking style bread. Highlights of this topic were Viking Day and reading ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ as a text during Literacy. One of the children even asked for a visit to Jorvik as a birthday present.
The children have been learning about the Ancient Greeks. They have found out about Greek gods, the ancient Olympic Games and the history of Greek democracy. Art work linked to this topic and all children designed and decorated Greek style pots.