When I was ten I wanted to be an Archaeologist. History was awesome, Ancient Egypt fascinated me and I had read my Usborne Book of Archaeology from cover to cover, over and over again. I had been inspired by a teacher and it has left its mark. Now, whenever I see a new book that is just perfect for a KS2 Anglo-Saxon project, or that brings the Iron Age alive, I cannot resist sharing the fascinating artefacts or astonishing details with anyone who will let me.
As a child it was History that got me reading non-fiction and ready to tackle any project work my teacher set me. As a middle aged adult I attribute my ability to think analytically, to assess and evaluate information and to see the world from different points of view to that early interest in History. It is a profoundly important subject and the new curriculum, in its final form, does recognise this.
Despite initial reservations and the difficult job of finding just the right books, I am excited about the new History Curriculum. I am stunned by how sophisticated Stone Age people were, for the first time I can distinguish authoritatively between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings and I am thrilled that children will continue to be enthralled by Ancient Egypt.
The Non-European unit is proving to be just as exciting as the Ancient Egyptians with the Mayans being a very popular choice; although the stunning books now beginning to be available may well entice many of you to look more closely at the extraordinary Early Islamic and Benin cultures.
The local history study gives us the chance to look at our own locality through the eyes of a Historian, to develop some practical history skills and to stand in the same place or touch the same things as our forebears. It also offers the choice of combining units so if you are lucky enough to live near an Iron Age fort you can incorporate your local history study into your ‘Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age’ unit.
Our industrial towns also offer very exciting opportunities for a local history study and the chance to combine this with the themed unit to extend children’s chronological knowledge beyond 1066. This is the unit that you can really make your own and bring history alive for children and I am looking forward to seeing ideas and discussions on our online Forum. The choices are all yours and I can’t wait to see the classroom displays and hear the buzz of a room full of budding Historians!
Written by Marcia Napp, Book Collections Manager