Teaching Thematic from pre-1066

Area 6 of the National Curriculum for history for 2014 requires that you include the study of an aspect or theme in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066 For example:

  • the changing nature of political power in Britain, traced through selective case studies from the Iron Age to the present;
  • Britain’s changing landscape from the Iron Age to the present;
  • a study of an aspect of social history, such as the impact through time of the migration of people to, from and within the British Isles;
  • a study in depth into a significant turning point e.g. the Neolithic Revolution.

It is really important to note that these are NOT THE ONLY OPTIONS. If you want to ignore all of them, you can. This is your chance to be really creative. Some schools have even nested a local study with this thematic one to help pupils to realise how their local area reflected changing national developments What alternatives are there?

What about immigration? This would link back to KS2 work on the arrival and settlement of groups such as the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings as well as any local work they might have done on this theme.

What about a development study such as Crime and Punishment linking back to work on Anglo-Saxon punishment from KS2? This is pretty well resourced, thanks to its inclusion as an SHP GCSE option and provides a motivating topic.

And finally… just check what your contributory primary schools have chosen to include on their KS2 history curriculum as they have to provide a thematic study post-1066. It would be highly undesirable to offer the same. If you go to the Key Stage 2 section of the site you will see the sort of advice I am offering there.

What outstanding lessons will be appearing soon? One of the central principles of the Keystage history site is that we only upload lessons which have been judged to be outstanding. As the new curriculum does not become operational until 2014 we will initially have fewer lessons to draw on. During the coming year, however, we will see lots more examples.

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