History fires children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Children create their own definitions of the past through the discovery of difference and change, whilst also considering how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
In History, children ask questions, think of their own ways to collect evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence and argue from their point of view – skills that are prized in adult life and nurture independence. In KS1, History is developed through knowledge, skills and understanding. This includes chronological understanding, knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past, historical interpretation, historical enquiry, organisation and communication.
In the Foundation Stage, the curriculum is guided by the Early Learning Goals and is found in the area Understanding the World. Children are encouraged to talk about everyday life and are given opportunities to sequence events and objects to develop a sense of chronology.