History is an exciting and vibrant part of Leweston life. Children approach the lessons with eager anticipation and acquire knowledge through a range of process skills including chronology, comparison, research, cause and effect, analytical thinking and re-enactment.

The main question the children are asked is not ‘What do you know?’ but ‘How do you know?’ They learn to become history detectives and draw informed conclusions from visual and written materials as well as artefacts. They then support their analyses with effective use of examples and descriptions.

Having an open mind is essential if they are to ask meaningful questions. This is developed in a variety of ways and the children enjoy expanding their minds and not limiting themselves to what they might perceive to be the ‘right’ answer.

The department has a wide range of differentiated books for the topics studied through the school. This allows the pupils to develop the essential skill of using books for research. The Internet is also used as a subsidiary source for written material and is an excellent source of pictures. The outstanding projects created by the children on a variety of historical subjects are a testament to their ability to find and analyse information and present it in a variety of creative ways.

Children learn especially well from workshops and visits. This year they have benefited from visits to the Teddy Bear Museum, Hooke Court, the Tutankhamun Exhibition, Sevington Victorian School and the Ancient Technology Centre as well as being Romans during a Roman Workshop day. At Sevington, the pupils become Victorian children for the day and work in a perfectly preserved schoolroom. The Ancient Technology Centre visit included firemaking, grinding grain, making bread and working as blacksmiths to make an iron spearhead in the forge.

History at Leweston is not seen as a stand-alone subject. There are many cross curricular links and these include Art, English and Mathematics. The pupils hone their journalistic skills when writing about historical events, such as the coming of Cortes to the Aztecs or the outbreak of the Second World War, and how better to learn about Roman numerals than to make your own wax tablet to use in the lesson?