Early Years Foundation Stage
History in the Early Years at Fairfields
Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The roots of our history curriculum can be found in the Foundation Stage through our ‘Understanding the World’ teaching. Our children begin to make sense of their own life-story and their family’s history as we start both the Nursery and Reception years with a topic all about ‘ourselves’ to get to know each other. We make links home to produce family trees, make ‘growing up’ timelines, and compare and contrast adults and babies. Children begin to develop a sense of the ‘past.’
Our curriculum enables us to meet important members of society, such as police officers, nurses and firefighters and investigate how their uniforms and vehicles have changed over time. We learn about museums and handle historical artefacts like fossils and old telephones.
We read to learn through a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems to foster our children’s understanding of the culturally diverse world in which we live. This extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Stories with heroes, knights, kings, queens and castles in fictional settings provide substantive knowledge for future learning.
We plan and teach key historical vocabulary, as we know that enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support learning as they move into Key Stage One.
We compare and contrast fictional and non-fictional historical figures from a range of cultures and times in storytelling and listen to what children say about them. We read about Guy Fawkes, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole in non-fiction books and draw out common themes from stories, such as bravery, difficult choices and kindness, and talk about children’s experiences with these themes. In addition to storytelling, we introduce characters, including those from the past, using songs, poems, puppets, role-play and other storytelling methods.
In our Early Years children are supported to comment on images of famili
r situations from the past like seaside holidays and learn about significant events from history like Remembrance Day. We compare things from the past like modes of transport and clothing, and talk about what they are like now. At Christmas we explore what toys from the past looked like and compare to our toys nowadays.
As our Early years children move into Key Stage One, they are well prepared to continue building their Historical knowledge and understanding.