The curriculum at Medstead Primary School has been planned to ensure coverage of NC History skills from Year R through to Year 6. Medstead is situated close to areas of key historical importance, ranging from Jane Austen’s house a short way away in Chawton, Gilbert White’s home in Selborne and references to the Saxons depicted in the cathedral and on King Alfred’s statue in Winchester. We aim to develop children’s understanding of chronology and help them make links between events from now and in the past.
Each year group has a set of skills planned for across the year. These are often taught in a cross-curricular manner in connection with other subjects, but can also be stand-alone pieces of learning specifically focused on the historical importance. It is vital that the children have a good understanding of History across the years and begin to see links as they move through the school. Our classes display timelines and as the children move into Key Stage 2 it is our aim that they will begin making links between different historical periods. Our skills progression document ensures that a range of significant historical events and eras are taught, enabling children to develop their understanding of history as they progress through the school.
Medstead pupils use history and geography learning books, with half of the book designated to Geography learning and the other half to History learning. At Medstead, we teach our History and Geography through statements which help guide the pupils to delve deeper into a particular subject. History and Geography are closely linked at Medstead and we aim to split the coverage equally across each year group.
By recording learning in designated History and Geography books, our students are able to demonstrate their understanding of the subjects and make links between events now, those in the past and the impact these may have had on the geography of a place. We also carry out local enquiries to ensure the children learn about the diverse and rich historical importance of the local area, helping them to connect to history around them.
Whenever possible, we try to organise trips or experiences to immerse the children in a historical period. This could be through a visit to a place of importance, the use artefact boxes or visits from experts in their field. This enables the children to have a rich and immersive learning experience, which they will remember in years to come. Such experiences currently include visits to a Victorian classroom and Winchester Cathedral, an evacuee trip on the local Watercress Steam Railway and a trip to Windsor Castle! Past pupils still refer to these days as some of their favourite memories of school.