Teaching children that the past is entwined with the present.

Studying history is crucial for understanding the world in which we live. At The Downs Malvern, an exciting range of British and World History topics are covered through a range of media. With constant reference to current affairs, the aim is to make it clear that the past is entwined with the present, and that the adults of tomorrow will be informed, tolerant citizens. History is a subject that is vitally important for our children today. History is about ourselves and how we define ourselves as a nation.

The objective of the History department is to make the study of the past interesting and enjoyable, so that children will be motivated to understand the present and future, with the ability to identify truth and bias.

A range of learning methods is employed, from re-enactments to shadow puppetry. IT is used extensively in teaching, to bring this already fascinating subject - full of stories, characters and evidence - fully to life.

The History curriculum is semi-chronological in design, with an emphasis on British History, but with world topics explored to provide context. This allows for age-appropriate subject matter and for themes to be revisited over the course of a child's time at the school. As such, topics might best be thought of as chapters with intertwining story strands. For example, the Aztecs topic studied in the Summer Term of Year 5 is complimented by an investigation into the first British settlements in North America in the Summer Term of Year 6. With current historical and archaeological discoveries investigated where appropriate, the syllabus is vibrant and relevant.

Year 3: Children in Year 3 learn about the Romans and Vikings. This covers invasion and settlement, village and town life and the spread of Christianity.

Year 4: The Tudors and World War 2 are studied as topics by Year 4 children, with the curriculum supplemented with trips to museums.

Year 5: The focus in the Autumn Term is on the changing place of children in Victorian society and the technological and scientific advances. An investigation into the local history of Colwall is followed by a look at the contemporary wider world. The second half of the Spring Term works as an epilogue, as aspects of 20th Century history are investigated, including the end of the Empire; scientific advances (the Space Race), the Troubles in Ireland and the Falklands War. In the Summer Term, pupils are introduced to European Settlement in the New World (Cortes and the Aztecs).

Year 6: The Norman Conquest leads on to a study of medieval village and town life, which paints the backdrop for the medieval history studied at Common Entrance. The Summer Term topic, Brave New Worlds, focuses on British settlers in North America.

Years 7 & 8: Common Entrance subject matter takes centre stage in Years 7 and 8. A combination of medieval and early modern topics is covered in detail, from the Black Death’s impact up to the End of the Civil War. Archaeology, Astronomy and History of Art all contribute to making History at The Downs Malvern varied and stimulating.

Head of History - Nicholas Vaughn