About the schemes of work
- The scheme of work takes aspects of the experience of Year 6 pupils at Hampton Vale so that other schools can take their pupils on a comparable learning journey. It cannot replicate the visit to the British Museum exhibition since this has closed and it does not assume that pupils can necessarily visit Flag Fen Archaeological Park (although one is highly recommended).
- The scheme of work can be taught as a stand- alone depth study but it can also draw upon any prior learning about Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Britain during the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
- For schools in this locality of East Anglia it also models how an element of local history, based on a rich local site can link to and reinforce other history units.
- The scheme of work shows how elements of international, British and local history can be effectively linked, helping pupils to develop their own “maps of the past”.
- Teaching and learning activities have been grouped around a series of historical enquiry questions, which build up through a sequence of learning, consolidating what has gone before and drawing on the prior learning from preceding enquiry questions.
- Five Main Enquiry Questions have been formulated to convert what otherwise might be a particular content heading, such as ‘The Must Farm excavation’, into an often open-ended enquiry question, like ‘How did archaeologists lift artefacts from the mud at Must Farm?’
The five questions are;
How did Franck Goddio rescue hidden treasures from the sea? (Enquiry- handling evidence)
How Egyptian were the lost cities of Thonis-Heraklion and Canopus?(Characteristic features of a period)
How did archaeologists lift artefacts from the mud at Must Farm? (Enquiry-handling evidence)
How similar and different was life in Thonis-Heraklion and Canopus compared with Must Farm? (Similarity and difference)
What should we put in our museum exhibition? (Historical Interpretations)
- Each question has been shaped by particular historical concepts that underpin the teaching of history as a discipline in schools. These are set out in the National Curriculum for History (2014). Christine Counsell refers to the process of devising such enquiry questions based on concepts as ‘concepts turn content into problems’. By this she means that when a content heading is converted into a question, it sets up an historical problem for pupils to solve, based on a particular subject-specific concept or concepts.
- Schemes of work clearly identify a range of particular concepts being addressed through each enquiry question (it is not possible to address all of them through one question). The general thrust of subject-specific concepts in history is to encourage rigorous higher-order thinking. This is well summarised in the aims set out for teaching history in the National Curriculum for English state schools: ‘Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.’ The following concepts in particular have influenced the framing of the enquiry questions in the scheme of work: handling evidence (enquiry), historical interpretations, characteristic features of a period, making links within and across periods, similarity and difference.
- Lesson plans of the Sunken Settlements scheme of work can be downloaded below as can the four PowerPoint presentations containing learning resources to support each lesson.
- Sunken Settlements as a project realized the importance in teachers being well informed about the substantive subject knowledge they would be teaching. Two summaries of the historical backgrounds of each excavation site are listed below.
- The learning objective under each Main Enquiry Question frames the main focus for that enquiry. These objectives are deliberately couched in generic, not content-specific, terms.
- A series of learning outcomes describe the specific outcomes that pupils should have achieved or participated in by the end of that Main Enquiry Question. After each outcome, reference is made in brackets to the historical concept or concepts it is linked to.
The scheme of work for history culminates in a creative outcome, which can be completed by individuals or groups of pupils, in answer to the final Main Enquiry Question, This approach reflects the following definition of the process of historical enquiry from Dr Michael Riley, Director of the Schools History Project: ‘A planning device for knitting together a sequence of lessons, so that all the learning activities – teacher exposition, narrative, source-work, role-play, plenary – all move toward the resolution of an interesting historical problem by means of substantial motivating activity at the end.’
Hampton Vale Primary School would like to thank The Heritage Lottery Fund for the grant which made this project possible, the Hilti Foundation for permission to use select photographs of excavations at Thion-Heraclion, staff at the Maritime Archaeological Trust, Vivacity staff at Flag Fen Archaeological Park and Dr Corrine Duhig of Cambridge University and Civilisations in Contact.