Most children display an interest in the past and our principal aim is to foster and guide this interest further. It should also be clear that the study of History encourages pupils to develop a wide variety of different skills. Obviously literacy is one of them. Few subjects are so clearly concerned with the basics of reading and writing as this one. In History, pupils experience a wide variety of source material and they are encouraged to make their written responses fluent and clear.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) continues to play a pivotal role in the teaching of History. Particularly at Key Stages 2 and 3, pupils are encouraged to use ICT to communicate and present investigations; to have explored the World Wide Web in order to obtain, select and then deploy relevant information; to use databases and, through the use of digital devices, to have recorded individual or group role-plays.
These are only some of the more obvious skills that History encourages and develops. The appreciation of rich and different cultures is another; the sense of entering the experiences of individuals who were very different from ourselves is still another. To understand the nature of power and powerlessness, to understand concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference are all significant skills that children may begin to acquire through the study of this subject.
History is perhaps the subject on the curriculum most vulnerable criticism. “It’s a subject about the past and therefore has no significance for the future!” In this school, we believe that History has a vital role to play in helping pupils to gain an understanding of the roles of individuals and societies.
It is therefore our business to ensure that we encourage children to study the subject in this way, not only so that we produce good historians, but so that we provide children with a sense of identity and an opportunity to make sense of the world in which they live.
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