Pittington Primary School | Hallgarth Lane, Durham, County Durham DH6 1AF

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Pittington Primary School

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History at Pittington

Summer Term 2021

‘The aim of the historian is like the artist, to enlarge our picture of the world.’ – James Joll

 Early Years

Nursery took part in the whole school ‘Local History Study’.  We talked about school in the past and changes to the building, uniform and resources.  We asked parents to send in photographs of when they were at school and nursery.  We received lots of photos of both parents and grandparents many of which had attended Pittington school or other local schools.  We enjoyed trying to recognise our mams and dads and discussing things we observed from the photographs.

Reception’s School Days

We have all learnt so much! Our school days over the years theme has really captured the interests of everyone. The parents and grandparents of our class joined in by sending comments, photos and videos to share their memories of school days. 

We have made our own album showing the wonderful photos and capturing the children’s comments. The children have thoroughly enjoyed adding to it each day and looking back through the photos. They have certainly built up a knowledge of past and present.

I wonder what the Reception children will remember about school when they are older?


Mr Curry’s visit to Reception (School Governor)

Mr Curry, our class link Governor came to visit us. He spoke about his time in primary school, he has such a good memory and can remember the name of every teacher he has had!

We prepared questions to ask Mr Curry to learn more about how school has changed over the years. Mr curry showed us some fantastic photographs.

We found out that:

Mr Reed was Mr Curry’s favourite teacher

Mr Curry loved Maths and PE when he was at school

Mr Curry got the cane twice! Once in Year 4 when he got his long division sums incorrect then once in Year 5 when a paintbrush he was using snapped as another child was trying to take it from him!

Mr Curry’s first teacher in Reception was called Mrs Beenie

Mr Curry remembers enjoying milk at school which was in a glass bottle. He said that in the winter the milk would freeze over so the children had trouble drinking it!

Mr Curry used to play for Dumbire Primary football team when he was at school, it was a long walk from school to the field they used to play on.

When Mr Curry was a little boy he lived in what was called a colliery house where there was no electricity and no water! The Reception children were amazed to learn that Mr Curry did not watch TV after school!


Key Stage 1

Y1 have found out all about the amazing achievements of Grace Darling this term. We know all about her famous rescue of the survivors of SS Forfarshire with her father. She was a Victorian celebrity and was given many medals for her bravery. She even had Cadbury’s chocolates named after her!


As part of our local history study, Y1 found out about what school life would have been like for pupils at Pittington Primary School in 1933. We all agreed we would rather come to school in 2021!


Y2 have found out all about our monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. We have researched her life and ordered significant events from her life on a timeline.

We found out about her family and the order of succession. We know we will most likely have three kings as our next monarchs.

We also found out about how afternoon tea came about during Queen Victoria’s reign, our queen’s great-great grandmother! We made an afternoon tea which included a Victorian sponge!

As part of our local history study, Y2 compared school life in 1933, when our school first opened, to what school is like today. We also looked at maps of Pittington and how the area has changed around our school to build more housing and roads.

Lower Key Stage 2

During the first two months of this half term, the year 3 children who were home learning received activities that helped them to continue accessing the history curriculum.  The children both at home and in the classroom explored both the focus of ancient Greece and made meaningful cross reference links to timelines that could be applied to several of the other subjects, such as scientists and inventions throughout history.

Sparta and Athens were compared, with similarities and differences being highlighted.  Links were emphasised when they helped overlay prior learning about the relevance of artefacts and archaeological excavations or where there were meaningful cross curricular links with subjects such as geography whereby the Greek landscape affected the movement of armies or contributed to the development of ships.

Much of this curriculum required the children to apply their comprehension skills when reading through texts that were uploaded to Tapestry for use by them and their supporting adult.

Year 4 were delighted to take part in a cookery class to learn more about the Victorian diet. They first made and tried a poor Victorian child’s breakfast – a bowl of gruel! Next they created a rich child’s breakfast of bacon and eggs. There was a clear winner but some children loved the gruel too! After that the children made a Victorian afternoon tea and enjoyed Victoria sponge cakes, scones with cream and strawberries and of course, a cup of tea!

Upper Key Stage 2

In Year 5, we have been learning all about the Ancient Egyptians. This has included understanding how the Rive Nile was so important to the development of their civilisation and how they used canals to irrigate the land. We also covered the rather gruesome details of mummification and the important roles which the Gods and Goddesses played in the everyday life of Egyptians. The children were able to produce some super information posters about these. 

To further our local history understanding, we have also studied the influence and impact of mining upon the local area. This involved examining a range of historical sources to deduce information from them – these included: old maps, census records and old newspaper reports. The children were certainly engaged and inquisitive historical investigators and managed to find lots of clues. We even found the old railway lines and worked out where Pittington Station would have been.


In Y6, the children have been learning about the Benin people and their culture. We looked at how they recorded their history through artwork and recreated some ‘bronzes’ out of clay. Take a look at some of our brilliant work:


Spring Term 2021

Early Years

In Nursery we talked about schools in the past.  We looked took a video tour of Beamish Museum school and noticed some similarities and differences.  The children noticed the slates the children were writing on and we practised using our own blackboards and chalks to write and draw with. 

We then went on to talk about using an ink well and quill pen.  We looked at pictures of these on the whiteboard.  The children then enjoyed using feathers and black paint to create pictures and writing at the art table.


Reception have been doing some research about the history of the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ character and rhyme!

They discovered that:

Humpty Dumpty was the name of a cannon used during the English Civil War (Humpty Dumpty was stationed on the walls of Colchester).

A very long time ago “Humpty Dumpty” was a common nickname for somebody who was a little on the large side.

Later (in the late eighteenth century) the iconic image of Humpty as an egg came from Lewis Carroll’s novel, Through the Looking-Glass!

The children were fascinated to discover this as most children assumed Humpty Dumpty was a real egg that had come to life!

The children learnt the nursery rhyme as part of our home learning during lockdown.

Key Stage 1

Year One found out about Neil Armstrong’s amazing achievements. We learnt all about his life and also thought about why he wanted to become an astronaut. We learnt how the astronauts got to the moon and back safely and ordered pictures of their journey. 

We found out about what the astronauts did when they reached the moon and we discussed the reasons for and against space exploration. We walked down a conscience alley to decide if we would take a golden ticket to the moon or not.

In keeping with the pandemic Year 2 have been learning about two very important nurses; Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. We have compared their different roles in improving conditions in Victorian hospitals and the impact they have had on the profession to this very day. We had a debate to see who the children thought was the more significant figure. Most children thought Mary Seacole was more significant. Many of the children felt that it was very unfair that she had faced such racism and hardship to try to improve the lives of soldiers.

Key Stage 2

During the first two months of this half term, the year 3 children who were home learning received activities that helped them to continue accessing the history curriculum. The children both at home and in the classroom explored the focus of ancient Greece and made meaningful cross reference links to timelines that could be applied to several of the other subjects, such as scientists and inventions throughout history.

Sparta and Athens were compared, with similarities and differences being highlighted.  Links were emphasised when they helped overlay prior learning about the relevance of artefacts and archaeological excavations or where there were meaningful cross curricular links with subjects such as geography whereby the Greek landscape affected the movement of armies or contributed to the development of ships.

Much of this curriculum required the children to apply their comprehension skills when reading through texts that were uploaded to Tapestry for use by them and their supporting adult.

Year 4 have been learning about the Victorians this term. We have explored what conditions were like in factories in the era, writing letters of complaint to the factory owner. They have discovered how much we owe the Victorians for their innovation and inventions and also found out how huge the British Empire was at the time.

In Year 5 we have completed our key focus upon Oliver Cromwell, Crime and Punishment. Through our use of the online learning platform, both home learners and children learning in school have had access to all aspects of this topic.

We have explored the many events in both the early life, and the parliamentary years of Oliver Cromwell – including his role in the English Civil War. This has included a focus upon the key dates and the key vocabulary such as parliament, royalist and puritan. The children particularly enjoyed learning about some of the more gruesome aspects of this history topic.

We have also explored some the laws passed by Cromwell as Lord Protector and how this changed the celebrations of Christmas for everyone at the time. The children even wrote a diary in role about how they would feel about these changes – they were more than a little outraged.

This term Year 6 investigated the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the United Kingdom.  We identified times when the Vikings were successful in their attempts to rule and also when they were not. We researched the impact of significant Anglo-Saxon rulers and questioned whether Alfred the Great really was so great.

We used sources of evidence to find out how the Vikings gained their ferocious reputation and questioned the reliability of these sources, appreciating how more recent excavations shaped our view of the Vikings by telling more about their everyday lives.

We located Viking settlements on modern maps and found many Viking place names within our local area. We translated the place names and shared Viking names still used in our dialect today.


Autumn 2020

What have children been learning about during the Autumn Term?

Early Years

The children in Nursery have enjoyed looking at family photographs and identifying the different generations of their families.  Some of the photos showed the children as babies which sparked a conversation about their past and siblings they have. 

We have also been talking about our family holiday memories and discussing places we have been on holiday this year and in previous years.  We have looked at family holiday pictures which helped us to remember and talk about events which have passed. 

We have also learned about the importance of Remembrance Day and the symbol of the poppy.  We watched the CBeebies animation about the poppy fields and listened to Mrs Aken play the ‘Last Post’ in school on her cornet.  We made our own poppies which we displayed in the classroom and took part in a two-minute silence.


In Reception, the children were fascinated by a typewriter that Mrs Basra brought into class.  We looked at the history behind the invention and investigated how it works.  The children were so motivated to use it for writing and hear the sound of each key being pressed.

We explored how the machine makes letters appear on paper as each key is pressed. As the key is pressed it pushes a steel stamp to hit against a ribbon to transfer the ink from the ribbon onto the paper. Lots of children did not know what ink is so we looked at the ink they use every day in pens and compared this to the typewriter ribbon.

We also compared the keys of the typewriter with those of a keyboard, they both have the QWERTY layout! We learnt that originally the keys were set out in this way to stop mechanical typewriters from jamming or stopping working. Nowadays, this is not the case but everyone got so used to the keys being in this order that the design stayed the same, even to this day.

We decided that the old-fashioned typewriter is a cross between and keyboard and a printer!

Key Stage 1

Year One children found out all about the Great Fire of London this term. They know that we use many sources of evidence to find out about the past, including Samuel Pepys’ diary, paintings and newspaper reports. The children ordered the main events of the fire on a timeline and can recall many facts about how it started and why it spread so quickly.  

The children can compare London today to what it was like in 1666. They know how London was rebuilt and why London looks they way it does today with stone buildings and the use of fire marks.

Year 2 have been learning about George Stephenson whilst exploring significant historical events linked to places and people in their own locality. They have learned how his life and work contributed to both national and international achievements and how railways have since developed to the present day.

They have sequenced key events in Stephenson’s life, learned about jobs in the mining industry, looked at how his invention of the safety lamp impacted national life and how the creation of The Rocket made an impact across the world.


Key Stage 2

Year 3 have enjoyed learning about the similarities and differences between the Stone Age and the Metal Ages.  We have watched online video clips that re-enacted Stone Age life, looked within online museum collections and read from online e-books.

When constructing timelines, we began to understand that thousands of years have passed between the lives of our families and those of Iron Age humans.  We learnt more about evidence used by archaeologists and historians to explain Stone Age cup and ring stone art that can be found in the North East or England and pre-historic settlements at Skara Brae at Orkney, Scotland.

Year 4 have been learning about the Romans and it has been a hugely popular subject, capturing the imagination of the class. Here are some examples of the work produced in class. 

We have imagined ourselves after a night at the Colosseum in Rome and written a diary to help understand why the Romans enjoyed watching violent events in amphitheatres. The class learned about many of the Romans contributions to life in Britain and decided which were the most important by creating commemorative money to represent each.

In Year 5 we have had a key focus upon the Anglo Saxons. The children have been able to apply their previous knowledge well after previously studying the Roman Invasion of Britain and the emergence of the Norman time period. We have explored the situation in Britain after the decline of Roman rule and what led to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms being developed. We have explored key aspects of Anglo-Saxon life including their settlement choices and religious beliefs.

The children additionally studied the role of primary sources in historical study and this included them making historical deductions from artefacts found at the Sutton Hoo burial site. We even had a virtual visit to the relevant section of the British Museum.           

 Year 6 have studied World War II and what life was like on the front line and on the home front. The children know the reasons why war was declared on Germany in 1939 and why it was a difficult dilemma for Chamberlain. We looked at an evacuee’s suitcase and questioned whether all experiences of evacuation were positive?

We found out about the holocaust and the children designed posters to remember how we can learn from it in our lives today.

Spring 2020

What have children been learning about during the Spring Term?

Early Years


In Nursery we have been exploring some of the historical traditions associated with festivals and special days we have celebrated.  We learned about some of the traditions associated with Valentine’s Day and talked about how we celebrate as a family.  We looked at the history of Pancake Day, why we celebrate and the traditions which have been followed throughout the years.  We then had our own pancake flipping race.


Reception have been singing traditional nursery rhymes in class, in particular Humpty Dumpty.  We explored some of the lyrics such as discussing what ‘a great fall’ could mean (all children agreed that falling over is not a ‘great’ experience!) and we talked about the words ‘King’s horses and King’s men’ and thought about who they could be.

We investigated if Humpty Dumpty was really an egg (all the children think he is a talking, walking egg) and it also got us thinking about why Humpty Dumpty has this name.  We have created puppet show performances of Humpty Dumpty as well as building him a ‘safe’ structure to climb and sit on – indoors and out!

The children in Reception have also been fascinated with cars and how they have changed over time. We were all amazed that cars were made from wood and how they originally did not have doors or even a roof!  We looked at the evolution of cars over time right up to the sports cars of today.  The children discussed aspects such as mirrors, paintwork, registration plates and SatNav!  

Key Stage 1

Year 1

Year 1 have explored the topic of Space. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about significant individuals relating to this topic, Neil Armstrong and Tim Peake. They have had lots of fun learning all about why Neil and Tim are famous and how they have made such big impact on the world we live in today. Lots of children have explored this further by visiting workshops and space themed events. Parents have been very impressed with the facts the children have remembered and shared with them at home. Neil Armstrong and Tim Peake are definitely among the children’s favourite this term.



Year 2

Did you know George Stephenson did not go to school until he was 18? Nor did year 2 until they started this research session using a booklet on his life. They found out key information like his place of birth, date of birth and significant achievements such as his famous ‘Rocket’ steam engine. This is the beginning of a larger unit of work where we will be finding out why he is significant in the history of not just the north east of England but the United Kingdom and the wider world!

Key Stage 2

Year 3

Year 3 have been learning about the Ancient Greek civilisation and compared it to what we had learnt about the Iron Age period in the British Isles.  We compared the use of archaeology and excavated artefacts from Iron Age Britain with the writings from Ancient Greece. 

New and interesting vocabulary was learnt during the study of Alexander III of Macedon and the systems of government within city-states; monarchy, tyranny, oligarchy, democracy.  We made links with our study of rocks from science when learning that the structures and monuments of the Acropolis were but on a limestone plateau.


Year 4

In Year 4 we have completed our key focus on the Norman invasion and the Battle of Hastings. We explored the situation in England prior to the invasion, including using drama for the different claims to the monarchy. The children were able to express and justify their own thoughts on the different claims. We also compared the situation found in England, with regard to the monarchy, to the situation when the Romans invaded, helping us to develop our understanding from prior studies and make links with previous learning.

The children additionally studied the role of key sources in historical study and this included them making historical deductions from the Bayeux Tapestry. This included taking information which they already knew and being able to apply it to make further historical deductions.

We were also able to make clear links to our work in geography and this was though the Norman placement of castles on both the River Tyne and the River Wear.                                                                                   

Year 5

We have been studying The Anglo Saxons. The children looked at where they fit in chronologically with British history and made timelines to help us to understand when they arrived and settled. We used maps to determine where the Anglo Saxons travelled from and researched the names of places used in history for areas of the British Isles. We looked at the changes in rulers during this time period and investigated and debated the question, ‘Was King Alfred really great’? We then studied village life and the roles of different people within this, made a model village from research on homes and explored how settlements were arranged and laid out.

We were able to combine our previously learned DT skills with our Geography and History learning this term.

Year 6

Y6 have been studying life in England after the Viking invasions.  We enjoyed looking at different historical sources of the attacks on Lindisfarne and analysing them for bias.

It was interesting to study Viking place names and see which place names from nearby were Viking in origin.

We also compared and contrasted the lives of Anglo Saxon and Viking people living under Danelaw.

Autumn Term 2019

What have children been learning about during the Autumn Term?

Early Years

As Nursery start a new school year the children have been developing a sense of time and their place within it by looking at the world around them. They have discussed special family celebrations like birthdays that mark the passing of time and thought about how the seasons change as the year progresses. These discussions led to children thinking about features of objects in their own classroom. The children had lots of interesting conversations about how some of our toys look ‘old’ and what it is that makes them look this way.

A collection of toys that the children thought might be “old”

The children in Reception have explored the book ‘The Paper Dolls’ which is all about a child who makes paper dolls, has adventures with them but unfortunately they end up getting destroyed. However, they are not gone forever as she can keep them in her memory along with the other things she remembers and stores there through the years.

It is a very touching story which the children have thoroughly enjoyed. The children spoke about loss and the important memories we have to remind us about something that may no longer be here. Some children shared memories about pets, missing toys, family events and many more. Some children have enjoyed attempting to make their own paper dolls too!

Key Stage 1

Year One children have immersed themselves in The Great Fire of London this term. They have explored the differences between London in 1666 and modern day London. The children could not believe how different London is now and how the buildings have changed as a result. Everyone can recall key dates and facts relating to The Great Fire and were fantastic at putting the events in chronological order.

The children have been so engaged in this topic that they worked in small groups to discuss The Great Fire as if they were Londoners 1666. The children imagined what they would be able to hear, smell, see and feel. As a challenge some even acted out how they would react or what they might be able to see happening around them.

The children have loved this topic and some families visited The Great Fire of London Monument in London.

In Year 2 the children have been learning all about the life of the famed fossil hunter Mary Anning! Did you know that the rhyme ‘She sells sea shells by the sea shore’ is actually about her!? We started by using a historical artefact to look for clues about her life and then, when we had learned more, retold the amazing story of her life.

Key Stage 2

Year 3

Year 3 have been exploring ‘Who first lived in Britain?’  The children have focused on hunter gatherers and farming, finding similarities and differences across the three periods of Stone, Iron and Bronze Age.

The children enjoy sharing their knowledge together. They are able to explain coastal settlements, shelters, cooking and cup and ring rock art that have been found in the North East region.

Year 4

Year 4 have studied the Roman invasion of Britain. This has included recall of the key dates and facts, and finding out exactly why the Romans chose to come to Britain. The children looked at the historical events from the point of view of the local tribes and how exactly it would feel to be invaded. This included writing headlines and introductions in English based upon these key historical events.

The events surrounding Boudicca’s resistance were also explored through drama and role-play, and the children had the opportunity to write a recount of the events in role.

Year 5

Year 5 have been looking at significant people in British history and how they influenced events. They have studied Oliver Cromwell and debated the decisions he made and the approaches he took in leadership.

The children also created news reports on Guy Fawkes and the role he played in the history of our country.

Year 6

Year 6 have studied what life was like during the life of Shakespeare and answered questions such as: What key historical events happened during Shakespeare’s life? Who were Shakespeare’s most famous characters and what would you ask them if you met them today?

Summer Term 2019

What have children been learning about during the Summer Term?

Early Years

Thanks to one of our nursery children’s particular interests, the children found out about The Titanic. They borrowed a model of the ship from Mr Moult and discussed the fate of the ship. It led to some really wonderful imaginative play.

The children made a role play game on the climbing frame and everybody climbed aboard The Titanic.

“Mrs Aitchison, get on The Titanic!” shouted Jacob.

“There’s an iceberg, quick turn. Oh, we’ve missed it….we are safe.”

“An iceberg! There seems to be icebergs everywhere.”

“Quick get on The Titanic!”

The children in Reception have combined Science and History and have been exploring changes to our planet over time. They discovered that the deeper you dig into the Earth, the more information we can find out about its History and what it is made of. They investigated the moon and found that years and years ago, people used to think it was a person’s face or even made of cheese! They found out that is it made from two types of rock – granite and basalt. The children also learned that Pluto is no longer a planet.

To celebrate our Solar System, old and new, the children had a Space Day.


The Reception children also looked at how colours used in artwork have changed over time. They looked closely at the work of Laurence Stephen Lowry. They discovered that he was born in 1887 and died in 1976 and was famous for painting matchstick people and industrial landscapes. They compared his painting to modern day art and tried their own abstract art.

The children listed to a song about Lowry. They talked about some of the unfamiliar words in the song, such as ‘chap’ and ‘nowt.’

Key Stage 1

Year One children enjoyed finding out about Grace Darling.  They found why she was so famous and what we have today because of her bravery.

They had a visit from the RNLI who came and worked with the children. They were very impressed with the children’s knowledge of Grace Darling.

 In the final term in Year 2, we looked at how life has changed since the Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953. This included the changes in technology, housing, pastimes and food – most notable being seasonal food and rationing still being in place.

This culminated in a Coronation Party where the children made their own jam tarts, crowns and enjoyed spam on toast (yes, they really enjoyed it!) It was a Royal Celebration!

Key Stage 2

Year 3

During this term the children have applied their historical enquiry skills to study local history for the villages where they live. They compared this relatively modern history with how the area was in the periods of history that they studied in the autumn term.

Year 4

The children in Year 4 investigated sources of information on the Georgian Highwayman, Dick Turpin for their Crime and Punishment topic in history.

They researched Dick Turpin through newspaper articles, magazine articles, his baptism record and his gravestone. The children had to decide whether the sources were accurate in their description of him.

The children in Year 4 also recreated different punishments that were used in Victorian prisons. The children had to ‘pick oakum’ or ‘walk the treadwheel’ whilst some children were Bobbies or prison guards.


Year 5

The children in Year 5 were exploring the theme of Anglo and Saxon village life. They designed and made their own Anglo Saxon home and then, using their persuasive writing skills, created scripts and adverts for their own estate agent website.


Year 6

The children in Year 6 studied the Kingdom of Benin. This included a study of its key historical events, religious events and art. They created clay tiles inspired by these artefacts.

Spring Term 2019

What have children been learning about during the Spring Term?

Early Years

Children in the nursery have continued to use their “This is Us” book to discuss what they have been doing outside of school and to share their family traditions.

Children in reception have been learning about traditional nursery rhymes and have asked questions such as Who was Little Miss Muffet? and Why was Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall?

Max the Monkey continues his visits to children’s houses for the weekend. The children help him record his visit in his diary. The children look forward to sharing past events and talk about activities that they are involved in out of school.

The children in reception have been celebrating families….

They have looked at different family dynamics – Who can be in a family? What is a family? Where could a family live? Where can families go on holiday? How big is a family? The children talked about living with extended families, living with mum,  living with mum and dad,  living with mum and mum, living with dad and dad living with grandparents and being part of an adopted family.

They read a book all about families and looked at family trees and talked about what their family tree might look like.

Key Stage 1

Children in Year 1 have been exploring houses and homes. They have investigated different periods in time and how the houses were different to those of today. The children plotted the different houses onto a time line from Stone Age to modern day.

The children have been talking about objects that might have been found in a Victorian kitchen and living room and compared them to their kitchens and living rooms at home.

Year two have been learning about life at the time of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and have discussed the objects that were used during the ceremony. As part of this they have been learning about how the food we eat and shopping has changed. We are finding out about seasonal eating, rationing and…shock horror…how McDonalds was not yet available!

As part of this we have looked at a suggested menu from a magazine in 1953 and chosen our favourite meals. Soon we will be cooking some of our favourite. Hands up for jam roly-poly and spam fritters!  

Key Stage 2

Children in Year 3 have been finding out about Ancient Greece. They have looked closely at Greek pots and compared and contrasted designs.

…..and then made their own pots.

Year 4 children have been learning about the Normans and the Norman Conquest. They have researched the function of castles and where they were situated on the north east coast.

They created fact files on William the Conqueror.

They also worked together to create a time line of Norman events.

The children in Year 5 have used their History topic of Egyptians as a stimulus for exploring the nets of shapes and have created pyramids and the Sphinx.

They watched a programme about the Great Sphinx of Giza which used laser scanning to find out who the statue was built for and then made Sphinx models made from a net.

Children in Year 6 have continued to explore the voyages of Captain Cook. They have looked closely at his historical significance and his impact on modern life.

They enjoyed writing diary entries as though they were Captain Cook and then wrote information posters about him.

Autumn Term 2018

Eduardo Galeano once said, “History never really says goodbye. History says, “See you later.” The children at Pittington Primary School explore aspects of History which will help prepare them for the future as well as developing knowledge and skills which will help support their mathematics and literacy skills.

What have children been learning about during the Autumn Term?

Early Years

Children in the Early Years enjoy listening to stories about the past and are encouraged to ask questions such as how and why? They are encouraged to talk about the past, the present and the future in their own lives and the lives on their families. They learn about traditions within families and the similarities and differences between families. Role play and made up stories are great opportunities for children children to explore the past.

Children in the reception class have been comparing and contrasting gardens from the Victorian period with gardens from the present day. They discussed the similarities and differences between the gardens and voted  for the one they preferred.


They looked at lots of artefacts to learn about Remembrance Day.  They looked at medals, a special Penny and even held a ceramic Poppy that had been on display at the Tower of London.    



Key Stage 1

Children in Key Stage 1 have been developing their awareness of the past using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They have been finding out about the Great Fire of London: how the fire started and why it spread so quickly. In fact they have become experts on the subject and have used their presenting skills to make a television report.

The children have used their research skills to compare and contrast London in 1666 to London in 2018. One of the children visited London during the half term holiday and she designed a power point presentation on her holiday which she shared with the children on her return. She was a roving reporter from Pittington. Enjoy the slideshow for her presentation below:

The children enjoyed writing to King Charles to give him some good advice as to how to stop the fire. They wrote using quills (pencils with feathers attached) on charred paper – because it was obviously burned by the flames. They wrote their letters by candle light, just like Samuel Pepys had written his diary during this period. It was a writing environment reminiscent of 1666.

The children then designed Tudor houses from the historical period and once the London street was created – we invited Durham Fire Brigade to visit school to burn the houses down! It certainly showed the children how quickly fire can spread. The Fire Officers kindly let the children take turns with the hose to squirt the water onto the burning houses. Great fun was had by all!

Year 1 also enjoyed designing and making poppies as part of Remembrance Day activities.. This activity was organised and set up by Harry, one of the children in Year 1. He wanted to set up a Poppy Club and his friends all enjoyed taking part.


Year 2 and Mr Shackler, the Caretaker were most surprised to find what looked like dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs on the school field. They investigated further and decided to write to an archeologist to ask for further information.

An important skill in historical enquiry is using artefacts to gather ‘clues’ about the past where there is no written record. Year 2 used this portrait of Mary Anning to discover more about who she might be and what she might be famous for.

Key Stage 2

Year 3 have been exploring ‘Who first lived in Britain?’ They have explored the similarities and differences across the three periods of Stone, Iron and Bronze Age focussing on hunter gatherers and farming.


Year 4 have been exploring Romans and have enjoyed a trip to Arbeia Roman Fort.

Year 5 have been looking at the life and times of Oliver Cromwell. They have recently visited Sunderland Empire to watch the Horrible Histories production of Awful Egyptians – the history of Egypt with all the nasty bits left in! This is in preparation for their History work in the Spring term.


Year 6 have been discussing exploration through time with a focus on the Vikings. They have learned about the voyages of Christopher Columbus and his motives to explore. They are now focussing on how technological advances will enable further exploration including the exploration of space.

We Will Remember

The whole school respected the two minutes silence for Remembrance Day. The bell sounded for the start of the silence and it was ended by Alex playing The Last Post on his cornet. It was a very memorable moment.