In an age where we have facts and information at the click of a button, there is an argument that perhaps History is less important than it has been in the past. At Beechwood Park School this could not be further from the truth!
Our aims are to help pupils learn how to be discerning of the information they are presented with. As well as learning the stories of our island’s past, pupils are taught from an early age how to interpret sources and to develop skills in analysing reliability and usefulness. As our young people face a life time of bombardment with information from the media, it is crucial that they are prepared to sift through the fact from the fiction and to learn from an early age to detect bias in what they read. They also learn to structure their arguments to ensure they are convincing and persuasive in sharing their opinion with others.
In the Junior Department, History is covered largely through topic work. From Year 3 onwards History is taught in specific lessons. Visiting experts and excursions support the history teaching which aims to foster an interest in the past.
To help pupils learn to place their periods of study on a great timeline, we study History chronologically from the Middle Department onwards. Covering some of the Ancients in Year 3, the Anglo Saxons and Vikings in Year 4, and World War 2 and the Middle Ages in Year 5 with a wonderful opportunity to design a castle before visiting Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight trip.
Year 6 sees the pupils complete depth studies into Thomas Becket and King John as they begin to develop their extended writing skills, culminating in a visit to Mountfitchet Castle to experience Medieval life. Year 7 move on to study the Tudors, the Stuarts and Industrial Revolution for the Common Entrance course taken at the end of the Top Form (Year 8).
We are fortunate to have a rich history of our own and all pupils are given the chance to delve into the history of Beechwood Park itself, by examining how the building ran as a private house and the changes made to the building in it’s past. We are fortunate to have a wonderful resource written by a past Head of Department; a book entitled ‘The Beechwood Companion - The Story of a House and its People’ has been published and is used throughout the school to provide a vivid picture of the past from the perspective of this beautiful building.
History equally engaging; what's not to love about a Year 2 class setting fire in the playground to paper houses they have made to bring the Great Fire of London to life? The Good Schools Guide, 2017