“History’s contribution to the cultivation of the basis for human freedom lies not in directing the rising generation to think this or that thought, but to support the creation of faculties of thinking, judgement, moral initiative and social awareness within them. … (in order that they shall have) … the tools to ensure that they can do what seems necessary out of who they are…” (Rawson & Richter 2008:156)
Through wonderful myths and legends they will have unconsciously gained a feeling for history prior to their first history lesson in class 5. They will have enjoyed tales of past cultures describing the activities of kings, queens, knights, holy men and women; as well as traditional livelihoods such as farming, forestry and carpentry. From class 5 they will discover the ancient cultures of India, Persia, Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt and recite verses and texts to deepen their feeling for the peoples of these times. From class 6 they will study topics from the Roman era to the Middle Ages, encountering the effects of human confrontation such as the Crusades and the influence of Arabic culture on science, trade and banking. Class 7 marks a change in children’s relationship to learning as they begin to need to form their own judgements, the style of teaching reflects this through a greater reliance on the children developing their own understanding of historical material. They will consider the way cultural & technological developments affect historical events and reflect an evolving human consciousness. Lessons will cover discoveries and inventions, art, trade and religious life; the Renaissance will be particularly relevant. In class 8 history is brought up to the present time with the Industrial Revolution and new technology. Significant moments, biographies, eyewitness accounts, literature and the media will provide sources as required. The history of the US, the slave trade and the fate of the North American peoples; the British Empire; mass emigration; the steam engine, telegraph, light bulb and their consequences; the First World War; The Berlin Wall; Environmental issues; Freedom & Independence movements. These will be complemented by bibliographies of Lenin, Mahatma Ghandi, Florence Nightingale, Hitler, Anne Frank, Primo Levi, Mao Zedong, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela amongst others.