History is both the past and the study of the past. The past influences all aspects of our lives. It shapes the customs and beliefs of the communities to which we belong. Learning about the past and the methods used to study it helps children make sense of the world in which they live. The past is full of great stories, incredible characters and valuable lessons that all go to make up our rich heritage. For these reasons, the study of the past is an important element of any child’s education.
Throughout the study of History at Cranleigh Prep School, the pupils should get an overall view of chronology (when events happened) and they should be encouraged to ask ‘why, when, what and who’. All aspects of History should not be taken at face value (i.e. This is what happened at the Battle of Hastings) but pupils must learn to ask the ‘W’ questions to give them a richer understanding of what they are studying. The topics covered must be varied, as must the manner in which they are taught. At each level, pupils must be encouraged to think for themselves as much as possible.
It is hoped that as pupils go through the school they will be able to develop and see the value of a number of historical skills that will enable them to enjoy the subject. The aim of the school’s syllabus is to use these skills as much as possible and to ensure there is a clear progression in the teaching of these skills throughout all year groups. What are these skills?
- To ask significant questions.
- To suggest lines of enquiry.
- To identify sources.
- To evaluate sources.
- To find out about the past from different sources.
- To sequence objects and events.
- To use dates and identify different periods in history.
- To think critically.
- To explain results of historical events and changes.
- To suggest reasons for different interpretations/bias.
- To produce balanced conclusions.
- To understand different terms used in history relevant to different periods.
These skills are incorporated into the schemes of work for each year group. Although there may not be a defined way of testing these skills it should be stressed that the pupils will, in the course of their work, practise these skills and fully develop the use of them as they progress through the school.
Click Here to view the Cranleigh Prep History Department Timeline