History

On this page, you will find relevant information about the History Curriculum at St Matthew's.
 
There are three History topics throughout the school year; one in the second 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

Pupil Voice 

Year 6 

“I loved learning about Ancient Egypt, sir showed us different photos and evidence from Egyptian tombs that told you about real life in Ancient Egypt. When sir brought out a stone with hieroglyphics on it looked like the real thing.”

Year 5 

“We’ve been learning about Word War Two, it was the first big war with bombs and planes so it caused way more destruction. Seeing pictures of Liverpool in rubble felt weird because now there are loads of buildings there.”

Year 4 

“We’ve been learning about the Victorians. We learnt that children had to work in mines and lift heavy things. It was dangerous and unfair because only the poor children had to work from a young age.”

“We also looked at different pictures of Queen Victoria, which showed evidence of what she was like.”

Year 3 

“We’ve been learning about people in the Stone Age. They lived in huts and went to the river to catch fish to eat. I would rather get my food from the shops than the river because there’s ore variety.”

Year 2 

"We learnt about the Great Fire of London. It started on Pudding Lane and spread because all the houses were really close together."

Year 1 

“We learnt about olden days toys, like Star Wars and spinning tops. Spinning tops are made from wood so they’re older, but Star Wars are made from plastic. It was so cool, I didn’t even know about old toys until Year One.”

Useful Resources
 
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.

Intent

While history is about real people who lived in the past, its fundamental concern is the understanding of human conditions, set in the context of time. Such understanding comes from the study of life in the past, of thoughts, beliefs, emotions and actions, as people related to each other and their environment and as they encountered and solved problems. The History curriculum at St Matthew’s equips children with the skills necessary for living and working in the contemporary world, drawing from learning from the past. As the children see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals, what they learn can influence their own decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.

Implementation

We support children in developing a sense of chronology from living memory to the earliest of human History through an enquiry based approach in which children are encouraged to investigate and interrogate a range of historical evidence and sources. Children will also learn about cause and consequence when looking at historical events and discuss how people’s actions have influenced events and shaped their world.

In Key Stage 1, pupils will be taught about the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They will be taught a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.

In Key Stage 2, pupils will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They will note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarities, differences and significance.

Impact

History at St Matthew’s:

  •          Promotes positive attitudes and enthusiasm for History
  •          Ensures the development of historical concepts, knowledge, skills and attitudes
  •          Introduces pupils to what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past
  •          Develops an understanding of the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day
  •          Teaches how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world and people of all backgrounds
  •          Imparts upon children a knowledge of cultural issues from the past and provides a safe environment to discuss how these issues have shaped our world today
  •          Develops knowledge and understanding of  aspects of the history of the wider world
  •          Develops an understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  •          Teaches the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  •          Imparts historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short and long term timescales.
  •          Builds on the key History skills year on year so that children of all abilities make continued and consistent progress.
 
2020-2021
Year 1 - Toys, Toys Everywhere!
 
Year 1 have been busy exploring toys old and new, looking at what toys their grandparents played with when they were young and what the similarities and differences there are between toys from now and toys from the past. 
Year 2 - The Great Fire of London
 
Year 2 have been learning all about the Great Fire of London and looking at how the fire stared and what made it spread so quickly. They also considered whether London was a safer place to live in after the Great Fire.
Year 3 - Stone Age to Iron Age
 
Year 3 have been discovering what early life was like in Britain and how it differs from our own lives today. They learnt about how the hunter-gatherers and scavengers of the Stone Age became the settlers of the Iron Age and Bronze Age. They also created timelines to help understand the chronology of early life in Britain.  
Year 4 - Victorians
 
Year 4 have been exploring how the Victorian period help to shape the Liverpool we know today. They also explored the use of child labour in the Victorian period and discussed the moral implications of it. 
Year 5 - World War Two
 
Year 5 have been exploring World War Two, looking at the causes of the war, how it impacted in Liverpool and what role women played in winning the war. They also looked at how the United Nations was born out of the war and considered its impact in shaping relations between countries in a post-war world. 
 
Year 6 - Ancient Egyptians

Year 6 have been learning all about the wonders of Ancient Egypt and looks at how we can rediscover them through temples, tombs and treasures. 
 
They also created extended timelines showcasing all of the topics they've studied since Year 3 - making links between the periods studied.
 
2019-2020
Year 2 - Great Fire of London

The Year 2 classes are well under way with their topic on the Great Fire of London, looking at how the fire started and why. They then got to explore a whole array of artefacts connected to fire fighting to find out what methods would have been used to tackle the blaze as well as talk about what we would use instead these days.

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.
Year 3 - 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!
Year 5 - Ancient Greece - Democracy
 
To begin their new History topic on the Ancient Greeks, Year 5 had a philosophy afternoon talking about what democracy was and how the Athenians used it successfully to rule their cities. They then compared it to modern day democracy; how our own countries are ran.

Finally, they talked about the fairness of democracy. At first, it appears like a perfect way to lead a country, but the more they talked, the more they found things that weren't quite truly fair such as people who are 16 who want to vote, people who might have moved to another country or people who are homeless. They even discussed criminals and they deserved the right to vote.

Some very interesting thoughts and viewpoints.
Year 6 - Egyptians

In Year 6, they were fortunate enough to have Fr Conor come in to talk to them about the Egyptians. As a keen historian and someone who has studied them in the past, he had a lot of insight and knowledge to share with them. They also had the opportunity to ask plenty of questions about things which intrigued them. Fascinating introduction to the new topic!

They also created extended timelines showcasing all of the topics they've studied since Year 3 - making links between the periods studied.
Years 1 - 6 - Remembrance Day

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.
Year 2 - Edith Cavell and Florence Nightingale

In Year 2, they've been working through their topic of 'Fighting Fit', the stories of how Edith Cavell and Florence Nightingale made huge impacts in First World War and the Crimean War through saving the lives of soldiers - sometimes on both sides. The children worked through sequencing events from earliest to latest and had the opportunity to investigate different artefacts from their time.
Year 4 - The Victorians

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!
Year 5 - Ancient Greece
 
Year 5 looked at some Ancient Greek artefacts this morning and had a good feel - exploring what they could possibly be. Some were obvious because of how similar modern day versions are but some were really unusual and had us guessing. They used their enquiry skills and made logical guesses as to what they might have been used for and why.
Year 6 - 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.