History Autumn Term 2017

Early Years

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:

‘Alice also told me how she went to the dentist and they counted her teeth.’ an observation made by Beckie Herring in Nursery.

Year 1

Winter Wonderland

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.

Year 2

Medieval Norwich

During this term the children have been learning about Medieval Norwich.  They have completed a variety of activities across the curriculum.

They followed instructions to make their own helmet mask.

They have enjoyed creating their own castles by working as a team.

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.

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.

Night time

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.

Whole School Remembrance Day Assesmbly

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.  David and Helen spoke to the children about the history of the British Legion and what conditions were like for people in the war.  They 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.

A Visit from Vulpus!

On 16th October, Year 4 at Toftwood Junior School were thrilled to have a visit from a “real life gladiator”!

This “living history” experience was part of the children’s learning about the Roman Invasion of Britain and the children thoroughly enjoyed dressing up to become ‘real’ Romans for the day.

This thrilling day included topics such as: a close up look at the equipment used by Roman soldiers; the blood-thirsty story of the revolt of our local Iceni tribe lead by Queen Boudicca; what Romans did in the bathroom and even involved a ‘trip’ to the amphitheatre to see gladiators fight to the death (the children even learned how to appeal to the Emperor to either kill or spare the life of the defeated fighter).

The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learned so much from the day; here are just a few of their thoughts:

“I enjoyed today because we got to learn in a more fun way by acting out everything.” Phoebe

“It was interesting because I got to learn more about the Romans and we played games and held pieces of brick and things Romans had in their hands 2000 years ago!” Max

“The day was great because I enjoyed holding the Roman things like a brooch and a real mosaic and I got to learn more about the Britons and how they fought against the Romans.” Adam

“Today was so fun because we got to hold real Roman equipment and art. Also, we got to be entertained by seeing Roman fighting.” Martina

“It was an educational day because we learnt lots of things we didn’t know before!” Dani

“I liked today because I got to handle real Roman things. I liked the story because it told us about how the Romans fought.” Kobe

“It was awesome, I got to act as the Roman queen! Also, we could touch all the artefacts like a broach and bits of a mortariolum (a mortar used in a Roman kitchen).” Natalie

“I had a really, really good day because we got to dress up as a Roman and we learned A LOT!” Josie

History Summer Term 2017

Early Years

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:

‘Today we went to the Sealife Centre. We had lots of fun and saw lots of different sea creatures. We touched star fish, sat in a submarine to see the rays and collected stamps to get our badges at the end. The best bit was walking through a big see through tunnel under the water at went through a big tank of sharks. We chose big shark toys in the shop and had ice creams after. It was very tiring so I had a sleep on the way home cuddling my new hammerhead shark.’ (Sam Wellbelove told his friends in Nursery)

Rowan filled a jug with sand and said it was a castle. He drew around it and said that it was to stop people getting to the castle. I wondered if he knew the name of that part of the castle. Rowan was unsure; I explained that it was called a moat. We looked on the computer at images of different castles with moats and bridges. Rowan then used some blocks to create a bridge over his moat. Rowan told me that he had been to a castle that had a moat. (Rowan Tuck interacting with a member of staff in Nursery)

Year 1

During the topic of ‘Step back in time’ the children have experienced washing clothes as they would have done in the Victorian times and visited Holkham Hall.  They started the topic by doing a mind map of all the things they already know about stepping back in time.


Washing the Victorian way

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 and hung the clothes on the line to dry.  This was an excellent way to show the children how things have changed over the years and how lucky we are nowadays to have machines to help us.

Holkham Hall

As part of the topic ‘Step back in time’ Year 1 have been on a trip to Holkham Hall.  They looked around the great hall and held some Victorian artefacts.  They learnt about a typical Victorian day and dressed up in some very old clothes.  All the children had a fantastic time and their learning was brought to life with such an interesting first-hand experience.

Year 2

During the topic of ‘Art around the world’ the children have learnt about the lives of Andy Warhol, Wassily Kandinsky and Claude Monet.  They also found out about Aboriginal art and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

History Spring Term 2017

Early Years

During the Spring Term the children have been encouraged to reflect on Christmas and any other significant past events in their own lives or the lives of others.  Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry, and some of these observations are shown below:


‘James was playing outside with the guttering and water. I said it looked a bit like a waterfall. James told me that he had seen a waterfall on his holiday in Cyprus. We used the internet to look at the map of Cyprus and took a closer look at photos of waterfalls in Cyprus. I asked James if he knew how waterfalls were made. James wasn’t sure, so we looked this up too.’


‘When looking through a book about space Sophia and I were trying to look for the word astronaut on a page. She pointed out the word Armstrong. I told Sophia that although it didn’t say astronaut it was the name of an astronaut and asked if she would like to find out more about him. We looked on the computer and found out that Neil Armstrong was American and was the first man on the moon. We saw a picture of him placing an American flag on the moon and watched a video clip of him walking on the moon.’

Key Stage 1

Year 1:

During the topic of ‘Space’ the children have learnt about the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova.  They have also learnt about Albert, the first monkey who went into space and Laika, the first dog who went into space.

During the lessons the children found out about significant dates in the history of Space travel and they ordered these dates chronologically on a class timeline which formed part of the topic display in each classroom.

As part of the Home Learning the children were encouraged to find out more information and this was displayed in their classrooms.

Some of the children worked independently to draw someone who went into space and write a sentence about what happened.  Here are some examples:

Year 2:

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:

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