February 2014
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Is this really the end of the Tudors, Victorians and WW2 at Key Stage 2?

Aside from Ancient Egypt, these are the three best taught history topics in KS2 so it is madness to ditch them in favour of Gove’s untested , unresourced and uneducated choices. The first, an obvious poin,t is to carry on teaching them any way. You won’t go to the Tower. So where does the time come from? Simply shaving off 25% from each of the other topics to make more time available is one option. The second is to nest them in local history. Many of you use the Victorian period as you basis for local history so why not use the locality to answer the broader national question of how far what was happening locally was typical of what was happening nationally. that way you cover both. You can also build a post 1066 thematic unit around 1, 2 or even 3 of the periods. I am just completing a real exciting Y5/6 module called Beyond face value which looks at three contexts (Tudor portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I; different ways in which factory conditions were depicted in Victorian times; and the way propaganda was used by the government in World War Two) . Please contact me if you are interested in seeing how this is developing as we trial it in schools.
There is another way you could cover the Tudor and the Victorian period if only in part and tat is to extend your non-Western study. this works particularly well if you choose Benin. The opening up of this African kingdom to European traders gives pupils a great feel for the importance of Tudor voyages of exploration, Portuguese as well as British. The study of the ending of the Benin empire at the hands of the British gives pupils a powerful insight into the workings of Queen Victoria’s empire.
Who said the Victorians and the Tudors were off limits at KS2 ?!

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