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History

History is an important and exciting subject for pupils at St John’s. During their years here, pupils will; obtain a greater chronological understanding, increase their historical knowledge and improve their written and oral communication skills. In particular they will know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: including the nature of ancient civilisations. Alongside exploring how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. Indeed, whilst studying local, national and international History, students will be able to develop ever more sophisticated views and opinions of the past.

Language skills are developed as students consider abstract terms, such as ‘empire’ and ‘civilisation’, which they revisit in our spiral curriculum to develop their understanding. These are explored through units that focus on different historical concepts, such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. Lessons are taught through an enquiry based approach, encouraging pupils to recognise how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims. All of this feeds into pupil’s wider understanding of the current world they live in today, allowing them to leave St John’s as more mature and rounded individuals.

Curriculum

Year 5

In Year 5 History lessons students begin the year by exploring the question ‘What is History’. This involves a brief unit on the key skills, for example, chronology, source analysis and research. Pupils  practise these skills and revisit them throughout their time at St John’s so they may improve their understanding and raise their attainment.

Secondly, pupils will investigate why the Romans invaded Britain. In the Spring term pupils explore units on how England was settled by the Anglo-Saxons after the Romans left and then investigate their lives. Higher order thinking is encouraged through comparing Anglo- Saxon lives to that of ours today and those of Roman Britain’s. In the Summer Term, pupils study Ancient Greece with focus on both how the Greek empire was created and the amazing impact of Greek civilisation on our lives today.

Year 6

The Year 6 curriculum revisits the story of the making of England, by looking at the seven kingdoms of England. It explores attempts to unite them during and after the reign of King Alfred and the ferocious raids and invasions that the Vikings led. In the spring term, pupils are introduced to the fascinating history of Benin through the study of Benin bronzes. They will use their analytical and communication skills to decide whether the Benin bronzes should be returned to Africa and compare the powerful Oba’s with British monarchs. In their final term of Key stage 2, pupils investigate their own, interesting, local history. We look at how the lives of two brothers, George and Albert Wallace, (both former St. John’s students) and Bromsgrove in general, was affected by the First World War.

Year 7

The Year 7 curriculum begins to focus on Historical skills such as ‘change and continuity’ and ‘interpretation’. It starts by exploring why 1066 was a significant year. Students then study the impact of the Norman conquest, again grappling with the question of significance. In the Spring term, students will explore the power relationship between the church and monarchy, looking at the death of Thomas Becket. Pupils continue with the theme of religion by exploring how the Church of England was formed. In the Summer term, pupils study the subsequent religious upheaval that followed under the remaining Tudor monarchs, up until the Gunpowder plot of 1605. The year ends with an enquiry into the causes of the English Civil War.

Year 8

We begin Year 8 by continuing the story of the seventeenth century and investigating what happened during the English Civil War and its aftermath. Following this, the next topic is the sobering Transatlantic Slave Trade, in which we challenge the interpretation of the BBC Drama ‘Roots’. This is achieved by learning about how and why Africans were captured, how they were taken to America and what conditions were like for them on plantations and slave ships. We then investigate opposition and resistance to slavery, before exploring how it ended in the British Empire and America. Later in the Spring term, pupils consider how Britain changed during the Industrial Revolution. We start the summer term with an interesting enquiry into how some people in society reacted to the Industrial Revolution, which includes a focus on groups like the Luddites and protests like Peterloo. We consider the role of Chartists and draw local connections with the nearby Dodford settlement- part of the Chartist Land Plan. Finally, we complete Year 8 by exploring a thematic unit on Migration. This helps to cement the knowledge pupils have gained in their previous years at St John’s, whilst considering the present day and emphasising the ongoing relevance and importance in studying History.   

 

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Knowledge Organiser

Year 5

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Spring

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Year 6

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Year 7

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Year 8

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