For children to have an understanding of some aspects of the past and how we can learn from it.
EYFS: In the Early Years Foundation Stage children begin to learn that as they grow up they are increasingly able to do more things for themselves independently. This emerging knowledge and understanding can be used to explore crucial early historical skills.
Many children within the EYFS will have younger and/or older siblings who they will see being involved in activities at a different level. This can be used to extend the children’s learning and understanding of themselves and the world around them. By the time children are in Reception they will be increasingly aware of the changes in routines during different times of the day and seasons of the year. These changes in times have an impact on what activities they can do (sleep, eat, play, home, holidays etc) as well as what they wear and what they celebrate.
The early learning goals at EYFS are very much focused on the memories of the child. It may be that they are asked to remember a special event or routine or custom for their family. They may talk about differences between different family members or different generations.
KS1 and 2: History provides identity. Studying history improves our decision making and our judgement. History shows us models of good and responsible citizenship. History also teaches us how to learn from the mistakes of others and helps us to understand change and societal development. History provides us with context from which to understand ourselves and others.
History in the National Curriculum can be summed up in just a few statements: ordering events in time; finding differences and similarities; writing and talking about the past; using different sources for information; asking and answering questions. All classes in each year group will do all of these at some point and aim to link ‘then’ with ‘now’.
At Key Stage 1, children may be asked to learn about specific people or events that are both within and beyond living history. Teachers are freer to choose who or what they would like to teach about so there is a lot more variation between individual schools. Popular choices often include people like Neil Armstrong or Tim Peake, Grace Darling, or Florence Nightingale. Events such as the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight, or themes such as castles or toys lend themselves very well to learning about the past. There will often be a very strong link to a local event or person
At Key Stage 2, the curriculum is much more prescriptive. Children will learn all about the following periods of British history over the 4 years in Key Stage 2.
Anglo Saxons and Scots
A local history unit
A period of history later than 1066 (e.g. World War 2, Victorians, Tudors, the 1960s).
Children will also be introduced to some world civilisations in history. There is some variation allowed for schools here as they can choose one of each section. It may depend on the period of history most relevant to the children themselves.
Ancient Egyptians or Ancient Shang dynasty of China or the Indus Valley
The Mayans or Islamic Civilisation or Benin (AD 900-1300) to contrast with British history.