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Studying the subject in the long term should lead to several overall benefits. Children, as they grow, should learn a sense of their identity. Secondly they should gain an appreciation of their cultural heritage. Their curiosity should be aroused about the different beliefs, opinions and customs of others. It is hoped that respectful, tolerant attitudes will then be adopted as a result. Furthermore, an insight into the past should give a useful perspective in understanding some of the problems of the modern world.

At Holmewood, pupils are expected to discover, investigate, understand, learn, recall, express, communicate, compare, analyse and argue about the ideas, events, characters and conditions of the past. Various forms of evidence are introduced to stimulate the imagination of as many children as possible. They are encouraged ultimately to question what they read, see and hear. In order to build on a child's sense of time and sequence topics here are covered broadly in a chronological order.

Up to Year 5 pupils are taught for at least one hour a week. Years 6 to 8 study the subject for about one and a half hours a week. Most of the units have important cross-curricular links with other subjects, as befits a humanity. Resources available include a school Library and access to ICT material, which are both used to help research.

The school arranges for year groups to go on outside educational visits to relevant sites. The school is fortunate at present to employ a number of teachers with a History degree and boasts a published school archivist. It also hosts from time to time professional visitors who recreate an atmosphere of their period and give children the opportunity for 'hands-on' experience of artefacts.

The actual organisation of the subject at Holmewood is influenced (but not controlled) by the National Curriculum and, eventually, the exam requirements of both Common Entrance and Scholarships. Here follows a brief outline of the programme.

Year 3
  • What can we find out about Ancient Egypt from what has survived?
  • Why have people invaded and settled in Britain in the past?
  • A Roman case study.
  • Why have people invaded and settled in Britain in the past?
  • An Anglo-Saxon case study.


Year 4

  • Who were the Ancient Greeks?
  • How do we use Ancient Greek ideas today?
  • Why have people invaded and settled in Britain in the past?
  • A Vikings case study.
  • Why did Henry VIII marry six times?
  • Life in Tudor times.

Year 5

  • What were the effects of Tudor exploration?
  • What was it like for children living in Victorian times?
  • The Era of the Second World War

Year 6

  • Medieval Realms – Britain 1066 to 1500
  • 1066 and the Norman Conquest
  • Religion and Thomas Becket
  • Crusades
  • King John and the Magna Carta
  • Scotland and Wales
  • The Black Death
  • The Peasants Revolt
  • 100 Years War/Wars of the Roses

Year 7

  • The Making of the UK 1500-1750
  • Henry VII
  • Henry VIII and English Reformation
  • Mary I
  • Elizabeth I
  • James I and the Gunpowder Plot
  • Charles I and the English Civil War
  • Oliver Cromwell
  • Project work on the reign of Charles II
  • James II and the Glorious Revolution

Year 8

  • Britain 1750-1920
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • The First World War and Russian Revolution for scholarship groups
  • Project by Common Entrance pupils
  • Revision for scholars
  • Common Entrance Revision

"We give you our children every day because we know you are the best school and because we know they are in the best hands."
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