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Great Missenden Church of England Combined School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust





History is the study of past and present civilisations and people. At Great Missenden, we believe that the children should develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on historical heritage. History at Great Missenden is concerned with stimulating the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past and are living in the present. Within Great Missenden School, history plays an important part of teaching the children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach the children to investigate these past events and, by so doing, develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving.

We intend to discover more about the local history of Great Missenden as it is an opportunity for the children today to feel a part of the communities surrounding the school over time. Many of us, including the teachers, did not start out in this area, but by learning and becoming immersed in the local history of Great Missenden, the children feel a sense of belonging and respect for our village and the wider community.


At Great Missenden School our intention is to continuously strive for quality teaching and learning of history. There is many opportunities for children to extend their learning in and out of the classroom through enquiry based learning. This is delivered through:

•Topic days 
•School trips in all year groups
•Interactive learning 
•Role play activities and relating to local perspectives and environment
•Cross curricular activities - fiction books, maps, source materials.
•Listening to stories and memories from older people
•Guest speakers in assemblies 
•Exciting resources such as photographs and videos


To truly understand the impact of our History curriculum, you have to come and see us!

To measure the impact, we have clear end points identified using termly assessment statements. Staff are aware of the expectations of all children. We use formative assessment in every History lesson. Using historical language and ensuring how children then use this historical language indicates historical skills as well as knowledge. Cumulative quizzing at the start of every lesson based on their previous learning is an essential way of judging understanding and development in history.  This information collected in each lesson, is used to inform the teacher’s short-term planning and allows the children to revisit their previous learning before moving on to explore new concepts.


 At the start of each topic, each year group organises a ‘hook day’ which inspires the children to want to learn more, whilst providing an expectation of what they will be learning. Within this day, the children complete a cold task for the teacher to assess their prior learning. Before the topic is concluded with a ‘celebration day’ and a hot task to celebrate all of their achievements and learning throughout the topic.  This also allows both the teacher and children to see just what they have learnt by the end of the term; thus the students play an active part in their learning journey, not just receivers of facts.


Every topic in history at Great Missenden allows children to explore the impact of the past through a variety styles, such as: creative lessons, fact gathering lessons and research lessons. Combined together, they give all children an opportunity to develop their knowledge further.


History is a chance for the children to enjoy learning about the past and thinking about what impact that has on our lives and the world around them now. For the pupils of Great Missenden to be HISTORIANS, they have to feel like they can take ownership of history and that’s what we support them to do.


Pupil Voice Impact Analysis

Year 1: "History is all about things like the dinosaurs and world war and other things that have happened in the past."


Year 2: 'I love learning about History, it is so fun and I get to learn all about what has happened in the world.'


Year 3: " In History, I enjoy learning about the past. It is really interesting to find out more about what has impacted us today."


Year 4: "I loved learning about the Victorians, we had a great lesson where we pretended we were Victorian children."


Year 5: " I liked learning about Black History Month because we can reflect on those people who weren’t treated fairly and learn more about the difference they have made."


Year 6: “I find History really interesting. We learn about how different life was in the past."


History at Great Missenden allows children to explore the past to look at the present. They leave ready to explore the impact that has been made on the world around them and how they can strive to make a positive impact for the future.

Black History Month 2023

For the last 2 weeks, all of Great Missenden have been partaking in Black History month celebrations. The children have looked at famous black icons throughout history. KS1 have looked at Rosa Parks, Mary Seacole and Martin Luther King. The children discussed the importance of Rosa Parks' sit in on the bus, as well as discussing their dreams for the future, just like Dr King. 


Years 3, 4 and 5 children looked at Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman and Mae Jemmison. Year 3 looked at the heroic actions of Nelson Mandela and analysed some famous quotes that he said on apartheid and life in South Africa. One of the students even decided to write a newspaper article on him for their hot write in English. Year 4 looked at the unsung work of Harriet Tubman and understood how important her role was building the trainlines in America. Year 5 focused on Mae Jemmison and all the challenges she had to overcome to become an astronaut. They then created 'I am' poems on her.


Year 6 looked at the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and its recent resurgence following the death of George Floyd several years ago. We had a very mature discussion around racial inequality, the controversy over the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as what we can do to make things better. The children then created a speech on this.


There has also been an ongoing competition for the whole school to create posters and pieces of work around Black History Month. The theme this year has been 'Salute Our Sisters', focussing on black female icons who have been influential in the black community over the years. Take a look at the picture above, showing all the amazing work the children have done!

GM is 200 years old!

This year we are celebrating our brilliant school being 200 years old! We have already had a celebratory assembly taking a trip down memory lane and seeing what school life has been like through the years. We had some past students come in to share what life was like, as well as some testimonials from some other ex students. We had a brilliant time journeying through our history and we have many more things planned this year to celebrate this big birthday with a bang. Watch this space...

Black History Month 2022

Honouring Black History at Great Missenden School 2021

A timeline of Britain and the World's History by the staff at Great Missenden School