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Age 11-12

Choice of three in depth studies from Roman Britain, Saxons and Vikings; Normans and Tudors (Ancient Greece and Rome will be covered in Classics) (1 project /study per term)

 History 11-13 The National Curriculum requirements for this age group (Key Stage 3) are not enormously detailed or prescriptive: they focus on British history 1066-1901, with one study of a non-British area of interest, and some local history. You can view the syllabus here.

This is a good age at which to take a pause and go back to some of the areas you have covered and look at them in more detail. There’s a lot of leeway here: you might want to revisit the Normans and cover the same general ground in more detail, or your child might be particularly interested in one small area of one particular period, such as medieval architecture or illuminated manuscripts. At this age, starting to focus on detail in one area is no bad thing! One of our sons has spent a good part of this past year just on Alfred the Great and the Danes: he loves the subject and is able to go into much greater detail than a school textbook would allow.

Similarly, there is a lot of freedom as to how to express the learning. You could carry on as you’ve done before, with reading a narrative and then retelling, though obviously now your child would be able to write his own summary. Don’t underestimate the skill involved in being able to read a substantial account and then determine what to pick out and what to leave behind when summarising: it is a skill very much worth acquiring, and will be essential beyond GCSE level.

Carry on using timelines and the historical atlas but simply go into more detail.

In terms of textbooks, you will struggle to find school textbooks aimed at this age group which cover these areas, simply because they are not covered in the National Curriculum for KS3. If, as per the suggested schedule here (revisiting all of, or a selection of, the following: Roman Britain, Saxons and Vikings; Normans and Tudors; Stuarts; the early British Empire; the empire under Victoria; Victorian Britain (on the basis that Ancient Greece and Rome will be covered in Classics and The First World War will be covered next year for exam prep), you might want to look into using non-school textbooks (i.e. older books not written specifically for children but which are well written and eminently readable. Suggestions for suitable texts to come soon when I extract the information from my historian husband!).

Interestingly, the syllabus for Common Entrance may be useful here as a guide since it covers British History in three sections covering the period 1066-1914, as follows:  Medieval Realms: Britain 1066-1485 The Making of the United Kingdom: 1485-1750 Britain and Empire: 1750-1914 (A summary of the CE syllabus can be found here).  There are textbooks available for this syllabus (notably, Galore Park’s So You Really Want to Learn History Books’ 1-3, and ‘History for CE’ Books 1-3). These would cover all the options for this age group except Roman Britain and Saxons and Vikings. I haven’t used these so can’t review them in any detail.