“Why do we study the Battle of Hastings?”
We believe it is important for children to understand the link between the world today and an event that happened nearly 1000 years ago. History is about people and the decisions they make, motivated by the human emotions that we all have. We want our children to understand the potentially huge impact of decisions made.
We look to bring the past to life for our children, seeking to capture their imaginations and inspire a life-long enjoyment of this challenging and fascinating subject. From the Romans in Year 3, the Norman invasion in Year 4, and the Aztecs in Year 5 we celebrate and explore cultures past. The Tudors introduce Year 5s to the life at the time of the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe. In Year 6 emphasis is placed on the C19th and C20th before we rewind a thousand years in Year 7 and then gallop through the Middle Ages. Year 8 provides a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in the life of the Tudors building on previously laid foundations.
Our aim is first and foremost to stimulate a love of History for its own sake. We love telling a good story, forging rich and meaningful links between topics and time periods. Themed days, visiting speakers, trips and workshops, diary entries, newspaper reports and letters to imaginary family members ensure learning is indelible and great fun. Comprehension and an accurate use of the English language are, of course, also important so we develop these skills in conjunction with a detailed, factual knowledge of the subject.
We embrace Essay writing as a way of analysing primary and secondary sources. Young minds are taught to answer with more complexity and opinion as questions become increasingly about ‘why?’ rather than requesting answers that retell the narrative. Techniques and methods are introduced to aid the learning of facts so that by the time our pupils leave at the end of Year 8, they are prepared and confident for future study through a GCSE syllabus.
Our children top off year 8 exploring in greater depth any aspect of History that has captivated them (so many to choose from!). The Year 8 projects often reveal a great maturity of insight, as well as a real passion and mastery of the subject, often leading Subject Heads at senior schools to remark on how our pupils can always be relied upon to write relevant and historical essays when they arrive in Year 9.
Good teaching stems from a love and sound knowledge of the subject. We are justifiably proud of our team and confident that the children will long-remember their History lessons at Dulwich Prep.