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SHP Support for Primary History

I’m delighted to announce the launch of SHP’s support for primary history.

This is something that we’ve wanted to do for a while, and the introduction of the new National Curriculum has now given us the impetus.

In SHP’s view, the revised History Curriculum provides a strong framework for pupils’ learning in history.  It’s not without its weaknesses, of course.  In particular, we think that starting with the Neolithic in Year 3 and ending with the twentieth century in Year 9 will do little, by itself, to build pupils’ chronological awareness.  It’s a pity that the Secretary of State ignored SHP’s advice to include a range of periods, and ‘studies through time’, at each Key Stage. Overall, however, the new National Curriculum, with its emphasis on enquiry, knowledge-building, and historical thinking should support primary teachers in planning rigorous and enjoyable history for all pupils. And, in the months and years ahead, SHP will be here to help!

SHP’s support for primary is based firmly on the six core principles that underpin all our work: connecting history to children’s lives, pursuing historical enquiry, taking the long view, appreciating diversity, understanding the historic environment and enjoying the study of history [ here ]. The Schools History Project actively campaigns to embed these principles in children’s and young people’s historical education.  At a practical level, we provide a range of support for teachers and pupils through our publishing, website and conferences.  The primary area of the website, which opens this week, already contains some resources that we hope will be particularly useful in helping primary teachers plan for the new curriculum [ here ]. We’ll be adding more guidance, enquiries and activities over the next few months and would be interested in your feedback and suggestions.

In addition, SHP’s first Primary History Conference, in partnership with the British Museum, will take place on 29 March.  The conference offers two plenary sessions and a choice of five workshops, all aimed at helping primary teachers to plan for September 2014 [ here ]. We hope that this will be the first of many annual SHP primary conferences at the British Museum.

As the Schools History Project widens it support for school history, we’d appreciate your help in spreading the word about our new primary provision. If you have any thoughts on particular ways in which can nurture primary history do add a comment to this blog.

Michael Riley

SHP Director 

Michael has been SHP Director since 2008. He is responsible for the strategic direction of SHP, ensuring that the project provides an independent source of ideas and experience for the teaching of history in schools