History Spring Term 2023

Year 3 have been enjoying their Stone Age topic. They started their learning with an important timeline of events as chronology is an important feature of our learning.

On Monday 9th January, Year 3 had a visitor to introduce our new history topic, the Stone Age. We began the day by considering how far back in time the Stone Age was. We used a tape measure and had to imagine that each year was worth 1cm. It was an incredible distance from our lives now! We learned about how the Stone Age can be divided into three different time periods: the Palaeolithic (old stone), Mesolithic (middle stone) and Neolithic (new stone).

Next we talked about all sorts of animals that lived Britain around 12,000 years ago. We were allowed to hold some real objects such as a wolf’s rib, a cave lion’s jaw bone and a hyena’s fossilised poo!

After that we discussed the different types of Hominids that used to live on Earth and we discussed how early humans have changed over time. We loved looking at models of some of their skulls and even tried on masks to make us look like early Hominids! We took part in an activity that showed how our brains can reason and imagine and how that separates us from other animals. We looked at a diagram of our brains and which part helps with different processes and responded using our reflexes.

Our visitor showed us different types of weapons and compared them to ones we have now. We saw spears and axes and how spears could be hardened in a fire and discussed how tools were developed to have handles and make them more deadly weapons.

After lunch we had a competition where 2 tribes had to try to rebuild Stonehenge. It was all about team work and we considered how the Stone Age Britons might have been able to move stones as heavy as a bus for hundreds of miles! We then got to handle objects such as an obsidian knife, stone-age string, a shark’s tooth and real bronze-age children’s toys!

Finally we took part in a fishing competition as fishing would have been such a key element of hunting during the Stone Age. Our three classes had to pass the caught fish all the way to the other end before the points could be counted. In the end it was a draw between CT3 and SW3! It was a great day and our visitor commended the children on their knowledge and behaviour.

Demetria: “it’s been fun because we got to find out about lots of animals that lived in the past.”

Dylan: “I thought the visitor was very funny and taught us lots of new things.”

Isla: “I really liked handling the objects especially the meteorite.”

Their cross curricular work resulted in some fantastic cave paintings. They were fascinated to discover that historians still do not know how cave paintings started, but the four main theories are:

  • To decorate caves
  • To communicate a message to other people
  • As part of a good luck ritual before a hunt
  • To keep a record of events like important hunts

The children tried to create their own message through their cave style art, for others to decipher.

As well as art, the children made DT links when they designed and built their own model Stone Age house by joining and moulding clay.

This term, Year 5 have enjoyed studying the Mayan civilisation. They enjoyed studying artefacts and experienced seeing what it would be like to be an archaeologist, discovering new items, trying to work out what materials were used and what purpose, each one might serve. We even have some replicas which they could handle in the class museum.

They have learnt about how their society was structured and what lifestyles were like for different groups of people. They were very interested in considering the importance of different types of achievements and inventions, expressing which ones we considered the most significant and justifying our choices.

The children also had fun learning about the many different gods, and their powers, summarising their understanding in the form of Top Trump cards, which they then played against each other.