This is one of the earliest topics to be taught at EYFS/KS1 following on from Myself. As we know this topic (preferably after Christmas) can engage children’s senses, fire their imagination and encourage lots of interaction. Here the focus is emphatically on looking at concepts such as similarity and difference as well as old and new and change through time. We also repeat the all-important question How do we know? twice to introduce the idea of evidence. Pupils develop the vocabulary to talk about times past and the higher achievers even start discussing change over time. It is NOT about pupils knowing esoteric details about when individual toys were manufactured. Most importantly, it is essential that this topic doesn’t run on too long. Some pupils could become bored if there is too much passive discussion. So, with each key question there needs to be a powerful activity, be it sorting, setting, sequencing, interviewing, or creating a museum display. Fiction titles play a key role in developing pupils’ ability to talk about time past as well as offering a strong visual context for all the discussion. Pictures feature largely in the resources but it is even more important that pupils handle objects, old and new, personal and impersonal. So vital is pupils’ understanding of the concept of old and new to their future progress in history that a special assessment task and markscheme have been devised along with a really helpful example of a pupil’s response.
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