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Greek pots

Historical enquiry

Historical enquiry is the process of asking questions about the past and finding answers by exploring the sources left behind from the past. It involves children becoming ‘history detectives’ who ask questions and search for answers by sifting through evidence. As their skills develop, children can move to a more rigorous form of enquiry involving the development and testing of hypotheses. Historical enquiries can focus on a significant individual, an event or a change. Meaningful learning occurs when children are challenged to think critically when analysing evidence from the past.

The framework we use for a historical enquiry has a number of stages. Each stage can be revisited at any time during the enquiry:

  • Ask questions
  • Use evidence
  • Suggest initial hypotheses
  • Reflect and discuss
  • Test hypotheses – use further evidence
  • Make judgements
  • Conclude and communicate072

Here are the principal historical enquiries that different year groups will be exploring to find out more about the past:

Year 1·         Who was the more effective queen? A comparison between Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I.
Year 2·         Who was the most influential nurse? A comparison between Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell

·         Was the Great Fire of London a blessing or a curse?

Year 3·         Is it true to say that Stone Age people were just simple hunter gatherers?

·         What was new about the New Stone Age?

·         Who was the Amesbury Archer? (Bronze Age)

·         The Iron Age: what changed? What stayed the same?

Year 4·         What was the impact of WW2 on the lives of children (locally, nationally and internationally)?

·         What was the legacy of Ancient Greece?

Year 5·         When was the area around the school built? How has it changed since 1745? What caused the change?
Year 6·         Why are Pompeii and Herculaneum so important to historians?

·         What can we find out about the Egyptians from what has survived?

History is taught within our learning themes and also during guided reading sessions. The extensive content of the new primary curriculum (implemented from September 2014) led to a decision to teach some of the factual content within guided reading sessions.

History overview