There are three History topics throughout the school year; one in the second half half of every term. Each of these topics will be taught as a focused History week where there will be lots of research and writing opportunities following on from the exploring and enquiry of various artefacts. In previous years, children have also been able involved in making and testing foods, re-enacting dances, designing their own replicas of artefacts and creating drama productions of key events to immerse them in their learning.
Our Autumn topics are:
- Year 1: Toys, toys everywhere! (Toys belonging to grandparents and their own)
- Year 2: Fire! Fire! (The great fire of London)
- Year 3: Scavengers and settlers (Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages)
- Year 4: The Victorians
- Year 5: Battling Britain
- Year 6: The Egyptians
Our Spring topics are:
- Year 1: Explorers (Neil Armstrong and Christopher Columbus)
- Year 2: Fighting Fit (Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell)
- Year 3: Rocking Romans
- Year 4: Smashing Saxons and Scots
- Year 5: Meet the Greeks
- Year 6: The Incredible Maya
Our Summer topics are:
- Year 1: School's Out! (What would you have done after school 100 years ago?)
- Year 2: Scrub a dub dub (Kitty Wilkinson)
- Year 3: Marvelous Mersey
- Year 4: Vicious Vikings
- Year 5: Freedom (Impact of the slave trade on Liverpool)
- Year 6: Beatlemania
St Matthew's marked remembrance day with a 2 minute silence at 11am which was impeccably observed by all. The school council raised money for the Royal British Legion all week by selling poppies and other remembrance day items to the children at break and lunch times.
Over the week, every class produced a special piece of reflective work including poppy art work from Reception, letters from Years 1 and 4, poems from Years 2 and 3, a letter to a soldier from our Year 5 classes and an interpretation of 'In Flanders fields' involving blackout poetry from Year 6.
Battle of Britain
As part of their Battle of Britain topic, Year 5 looked further afield at those who were affected by the war; one such person was Anne Frank. They spent the afternoon researching and investigating her life: who she was, what she did and why she's remembered. They then used the iPads and Purple Mash app to create an informative biography about her life.
Great Fire of London
Children also go the chance to hot seat those who lived through the Great Fire of London and construct a timeline of the key events.
They also created extended timelines showcasing all of the topics they've studied since Year 3 - making links between the periods studied.
Year 4 kicked off their Victorian topic by getting active and making a human timeline of the key Victorian events. It wasn't only fun, but really gave them an idea of scale and the gaps between certain events in our history. Of course we had to squeeze in close for photos though!
The Mystery of Stonehenge
Biscuits and key information about what was found at Stonehenge? Strange! Year 3 tackled the mystery of Stonehenge by looking at some images of Stonehenge and making some initial theories as to what it was built for. They then watched a few short videos and scoured key fact sheets, discounting some sources and keeping others. Lastly, they had a go a building our own mini-Stonehenges using the biscuits and marshmellows so that they could get an idea of the shape and patterns involved in its design.
This all came together with final theories as to why Stonehenge was build which were wide ranging but backed up with evidence - just like the experts!
Our Amazing Work!
Not only were their books beautifully neat and full of information, but the children were very confidently able to talk in great depth about their topics. In fact, it was hard to stop them talking!
Scarlett Y6 - "I like History because I enjoy looking at how we've changed and evolved over time and if the effects were good or bad compared to now."
The Y6 children collectively spoke about how History was important so that we can learn right from wrong by looking at past mistakes and how proud they were that they could talk about the history of Liverpool when people asked them.
Emily Y4 - "I like History because you can dig into the past. I like learning about the Victorians because she made most of the things we need and without her, we would live a very different life."
Harry Y4 - "I like History because you can find out things that have happened in the past. I have learned that some toys we have were used in 1837! I also learned that when Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria wore black for the rest of her life.
Shay Y2 - "I liked learning about the Great Fire of London. They used crowbars to pull down the houses to stop the fire spreading."
Noah Y2 - "The past is fun to learn about and it's really important. I know all about how they put the fires out in the Great Fire of London."
The following link is a great tool for home and at school to develop History skills
- Choose an artefact and make it full screen.
- Talk about its features; what does it look like, what patterns are there, any colours, what about textures?
- Where do you think it came from?
- What might it have been used for and why do you think that?
- Read some of the background information and discover the real reasons!
Even if your guess was completely wrong, that's fine! It's all about exploring History, making observations and drawing conclusions.
Mystery of the Maya
Our Year 6 children investigated some Ancient Maya artefacts this week taking careful consideration for what they were made from, how they might have been used and what connections they could find between them. They discovered a lot of the artefacts had links to their religious beliefs.
Edith Cavell and Florence Nightingale
Making historical links to Geography
Year 3 were set the challenge of sequencing different maps of the Roman Empire without having been given any information at all! They had to use their map reading skills and historical enquiry skills to investigate each one and put them in the correct order to show the expansion of the Roman Empire using the tiniest of clues along the way. They all succeeded though! Fantastic work!
Our Amazing Work! (part 2)
Absolutely brilliant work, so detailed and jam packed with information and historical language. Well done everyone!
Year 4 - The Vicious Vikings
Year 4 have been exploring the Viking invasion of Britain. But were they really so vicious? After a lot of investigation, examining artefacts and key events in their history as well as scripting and performing a play as Vikings, they've come to their own conclusions. Ask them to find out!
Year 2 - Kitty Wilkinson
Year 2's Local History topic was looking at Kitty Wilkinson, someone who quietly set about changing people's lives in the most amazing way. They found out through looking artefacts and evidence how Britain was plagued by diseases many years ago which were spread because of poor hygiene. Kitty created wash houses and shared her knowledge to help ensure people were clean and safe and saved many lives in doing so.
Roman History - Chester trip
To finish off their topic on Roman Britain, Year 3 spent the day in Chester - an old Roman city. The first part of their day involved following around a Roman soldier in full battle gear, marching through the streets, chanting in Latin and learning about fighting formations. After that, they headed into the museum to see real archaeological digs, artefacts and evidence left behind by the Romans.
Year 4 - Viking messy morning
Year 4 linked their History topic of the Vikings to their messy morning by having a morning of ship building. Longboat style! They researched and carefully crafted boats similar to those used by the Vikings and decorated them with battlements and Viking runes. Then, they tested their boats on water and loaded them with coins to see which ones could hold the most weight.
Year 1 - School in the past
Our Year 1 classes have been looking at what school was like for children 100 years ago. They started this by having an entire school day taught in the same style: chalkboards and chalk to write on, cleanliness inspections, the cane and extremely strict teaching! What a way to learn about the past!