History

This subject develops pupil’s sense of enquiry, interest and curiosity about the past, appealing to the ‘detective’ within. History at Prior is certainly not stuck in the past; it serves to engage, enthuse and enlighten children, whilst encouraging them to question what has happened and to help shape what will. Our aim is to foster a fascination about the past that will never leave them. 

Historical skills recommendations are nurtured and encouraged. By interpreting, understanding cause and consequence, detecting bias and assessing validity and significance of sources, the pupils will be able to apply their knowledge to discussion or written work with equal confidence. Digital technology plays an increasingly important role in classroom teaching, with pupils at all stages of their education benefiting from relevant and appropriately pitched resources.

The Pre-Prep benefits from the excellent array of items it has on loan from Wiltshire and Swindon Leisure Resources, enabling the children to experience ‘hands on’ what life was like in Victorian times, or as an evacuee in World War Two. In addition, trips to STEAM and the Gloucester Museum, when the children dress up as Victorian children and find out how schooldays used to be add personal experience to their learning. 

Young children love stories about invasions and invaders. Teachers in the Prep enthusiastically and expertly develop a fledgling understanding of chronology and culture in pupils. This is achieved through use of thorough cross-curricular study of the Romans, Anglo Saxons and Vikings, who not only invaded but lived and left lasting legacies on our islands. It is also incredibly important for children to learn about ancient civilisations. The customs and beliefs of the Aztecs and amazing architectural and intellectual aspects of Ancient Egyptian culture stimulates the children into wanting to know more. The trip to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford provides an excellent cross-curricular link with the Art Department. The pupils return eager to complete work based on the artefacts they've seen and workshops they've attended.

The Common Entrance Syllabus is a delight for the budding historian. The often gruesome and gory topics ignite pupils’ imagination and they feast on them with an impressive appetite for more. Why were peasants revolting? Especially in the 14th century? Where did the Black Death originate and why would anyone think a dried toad would be a successful cure? Add the vicious murder of Archbishop Becket as he clung to the altar, the unlucky or fiendish Gunpowder Plot gang, depending on your perspective, and the persecutions, executions and civil war, is it any wonder that children are swept along on this particularly fuel-charged period in English History.

My favourite lesson was history because I liked the Fire of London. You made the lessons exciting.

Year 2 Pupil

We are fortunate at Prior Park to be on the doorstep of an abundance of historical sites. Cross-curricular visits to Chedworth, Stonehenge, Gloucester Cathedral and Blenheim Palace are visited annually, together with a longer but hugely educational Year 4 trip to The Black Country Museum. 

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