History

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

Martin Luther King Junior

The History Department develops and promotes an interest into the past. It equips pupils with the skills to succeed as an historian; careful source analysis and evaluation, critical thought and intellectual curiosity.

Pupils are encouraged to take creative approaches to learning and to use their imagination to help them understand what the past may have been like. Children will learn that history was not just a series of events but a dynamic process of change and continuity.

Pupils in the Junior Department explored what it would be like to write with the Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet

Junior Department

Pupils begin History from the very beginning of their school journey in Octavus. The most important aim is to support and develop children’s natural curiosity about the past. The emphasis is on exploring a wide variety of different periods and contexts to help spark children’s historical imagination.

Children are taught to empathise with people in the past, to try to understand why historical figures may have acted as they did. Children are encouraged to pursue their own interests within topics and to explore both famous historical characters and the reality of daily life in different time periods.

Quintus were fascinated by the lives of Victorian children who worked in coal mines. They wrote a diary to imagine what it would have been like to experience a day in the life.

Senior Department

As children move up to the Senior Department, they hone the key skills of historical enquiry, whilst maintaining a commitment to exploring and investigating the past creatively.

Children practise evidence analysis, learning how to discuss the provenance of historical sources and to make judgements on their reliability and utility.

Discussion and debate is also an important element of History. Children will use evidence to support their arguments, as well as considering historical questions with a balanced approach.

Secundus explored the causes and experiences of the Black Death in Medieval England. Pupils were particularly interested in the figure of the Plague Doctor and how the outfit was designed to prevent the wearer being subjected to bad smells as this was believed to be the way it was spread.

History trips and other activities

Museum visits and interactive workshops provide a crucial physical connection between students and evidence of the past. There has been a wide range of trips with historical interest at Trevor Roberts, including recent visits to the Victorian Ragged School Museum and the British Library.

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