At St Ignatius we study a range of historical periods, such as the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and the Tudors. Generally speaking, the curriculum is arranged in chronological order so that the younger children learn about ancient civilizations of the past and older children study more recent times such as the Second World War. We believe that it is important to build historical knowledge so that children learn about the famous people from the past, for example, Neil Armstrong and Christopher Columbus. We also find out all about famous events from a particular period in local history; the Great Fire of London for example. Moreover, we are also very keen to ensure that children develop historical skills. Therefore, teachers will also organise various activities so that children can compare and contrast the past and the present, or between different periods and develop a chronological awareness. For example, pupils may be asked to compare and contrast an Anglo Saxon dwelling with a modern day home.
Teachers make learning interesting and fun. For example, they may provide opportunities for pupils to work as real historians by handling objects from the past to encourage children to ask questions, carry out research, consider possible answers and share their findings with their classmates. At St Ignatius, we had a special ‘Famous Person in History Day’ in November where the children and staff all dressed up as people from different periods in History, focusing on one particular historical figure. Such events ensure that children truly enjoy their learning.
We also encourage educational visits as we believe that trips to places like a Roman villa or a Tudor palace serve beautifully to bring history to life. Each class arranges a visit in the Autumn term which links in with their history topic.