Jane Hack, Learning Officer
Can you describe the difference between Palaeolithic and Neolithic? Do you know your Bronze Age from your Iron Age?
Well, you soon will if you teach in an English primary school. For many teachers, part of their summer holidays will probably be spent brushing up their knowledge about prehistoric Britain for the new Key Stage 2 History topic Stone Age to Iron Age.
After years of cozying up with Henry VIII and Florence Nightingale, the new curriculum comes as a bit of a shock. Beginning with the Stone Age in Britain over 700,000 years ago, it ends in 1066 with the Norman Conquest. Let’s be honest, unless you work in a museum (or watch a lot of archaeology programmes on TV), knowledge of life in Britain before the Romans invaded can be a bit sketchy.
So, it’s not surprising that twenty local teachers decided to get ahead of the curve, by taking part in a half day Stone Age to Iron Age training event at M Shed recently. After their pretty intensive ‘rough guide’ to Prehistoric Britain that included timelines, artefacts, an historical overview and guide to local sites to visit, the teachers agreed that it had all been worthwhile:
“A brilliant afternoon packed full of information.”
“I’m really excited to teach this topic now; it’s changed the way I think about teaching this period of history.”