July 2013
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What does the new NC mean for KS2 history?

Well its much better than it might have been. The first draft was unteachable: this is just unwelcome.

You can read for yourslef the full content which I have copied below but here is my digest in a nutshell.
1. There are 9 discrete areas to cover. By judiciously nesting one of these as a depth within a broader study we could end up with 8 areas, thus enabling us to ensure 2 topics per year group
2. Gone are all those topics post 1066 that were in the original draft. That means no that 80% of what KS2 will study will be pre 1500 and most pre-1066.
3. That means no Tudors, Victorians or life in Britain since the 30s unless you find some cunning way of bringing some of these in within the new topics- more of which later.
4. Yes, you can still teach Ancient Egypt- an addition since the first draft
5. You no longer have to study everything in chronological order. Many of you will choose to: those of you in mixed aged class won’t be able to anyway!
6.The skills and concepts are broadly the same and will not cause you any grief. Indeed this is the best part of the curriculum-they have left the skills concepts and processes largely unharmed and have even kept interpretations as a bulwark against Gove’s indoctrinating ideas.
7. The 9 areas of study, with my comments in italics are:
a. Changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age. Many of us already teach about Celtic life so that pupils are aware of the imapct of the Roman invasion. This will just mean going further back in time to study topics that interest young juniors anyway , such as Stonehenge
b. the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.Note the wider angle of this, beyond Britain. This seems sensible largely because it places the invasions of Britain in a wider context and it has got rid of the requirement in the draft to explain the rise and fall of the Roman Empire which troubled even Gibbon!!
c.Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots. The reference to the Scots will require schools to do extra reading and resourcing.Again there are 5 bullet points on this but they are suggestions only . The language is COULD not MUST or even SHOULD. Don’t you love these conditional imperatives!
d. The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor. Gove certainly loves his Saxons. Here they are again! This will mean some replanning for schools.
e. A local history study ( here is a chance to link to Victorian Britain, Life in 20th century, evacuation in your area, or even the Tudors depending on what is most appropriate)
f. An aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.suggestions made in the document include crime and punishment over the last 1000 years, leisure and entertainment in the 20th century ( good for Britain since the 30s), the first railways ( good for Victorians). One of the suggestions is even legacy of Greek and Roman culture. It would seem sensible to do these as a retrospective topic when studying Ancient Greece in Y5/6 you could look at how they influenced later periods. This would save a lot of time.
g. Achievements of the earliest civilizations. Here you will need to study one in depth e.g. Ancient Egypt but others in outline too which will require further planning and resources.

h. Ancient Greece- a study of Greek Life and achievements and their influence on the western world ( ideal to subsume section f within this, bring the legacy bang up to date.
i. a non-European society that provides contrast with British history : one study chosen from just 3 options early Islamic civilization c AD 900, Mayan civilization cAD 900 or Benin c900-1300. Once again will have massive resourcing implications and focuses yet again mostly on pre-1066.

Full text below:
Key stage 2
Pupils should 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 should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and
develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and
sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and
difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve
thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should
understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources and
that different versions of past events may exist, giving some reasons for this.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local
and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to
help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific
aspects of the content.
Pupils should be taught about:
 changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
This could include:
 late Neolithic hunter-gatherers and early farmers, e.g. Skara Brae
 Bronze Age religion, technology and travel, e.g. Stonehenge
 Iron Age hill forts: tribal kingdoms, farming, art and culture
 the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
This could include:
 Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion in 55-54 BC
 the Roman Empire by AD 42 and the power of its army
 successful invasion by Claudius and conquest, including Hadrian’s Wall
 British resistance, e.g. Boudica
 “Romanisation” of Britain: sites such as Caerwent and the impact of
technology, culture and beliefs, including early Christianity207
 Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
This could include:
 Roman withdrawal from Britain in c. AD 410 and the fall of the western
Roman Empire
 Scots invasions from Ireland to north Britain (now Scotland)
 Anglo-Saxon invasions, settlements and kingdoms: place names and
village life
 Anglo-Saxon art and culture
 Christian conversion – Canterbury, Iona and Lindisfarne
 the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of
Edward the Confessor
This could include:
 Viking raids and invasion
 resistance by Alfred the Great and Athelstan, first king of England
 further Viking invasions and Danegeld
 Anglo-Saxon laws and justice
 Edward the Confessor and his death in 1066
 a local history study
For example:
 a depth study linked to one of the British areas of study listed above
 a study over time tracing how several aspects national history are reflected
in the locality (this can go beyond 1066)
 a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066
that is significant in the locality.
 a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological
knowledge beyond 1066
For example:
 the changing power of monarchs using case studies such as John, Anne
and Victoria208
 changes in an aspect of social history, such as crime and punishment from
the Anglo-Saxons to the present or leisure and entertainment in the 20th
 the legacy of Greek or Roman culture (art, architecture or literature) on
later periods in British history, including the present day
 a significant turning point in British history, e.g. the first railways or the
Battle of Britain
 the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the
first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient
Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
 Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on
the western world
 a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study
chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900;
Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.

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