The very foundation of St Catherine’s has a rich history that is embedded in our motto ‘Veritas’. It was the Dominican Sisters who founded the school and their intent was that ‘Education must be based on an understanding and expression of truth, fully expressed in the person of Jesus Christ.’ History holds many truths, that we want the children to explore. At St Catherine’s we want our children to love history. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts.

Our aim is that, through the teaching of History, we stimulate all children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past and are very much making history in the present. We teach children a sense of chronology, in order to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. This enables our children to learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. We aim to make all children aware of the actions of important people in history and enable children to know about significant events in history, whilst appreciating how things have changed over time.

History will also ensure our children understand how the world developed as a global society, contributing to their understanding of their country of residence, we also identify and celebrate the special days of the families represented in our community. We embrace our diversity and identify that in our history ethos. Furthermore, our children will learn about aspects of local, British, World and Ancient history. This wider awareness leads to the children having knowledge of historical development in the wider world. We believe that by allowing the children to understand the importance and enjoyment of History through enquiry, investigation and opportunities to question, children will become fantastic global citizens and strive ‘to be who God created you to be.’ 

We pride ourselves on ensuring our lessons are as interactive as possible! We are focusing on ‘being a historian’ and the skills around history. We try to link our history lessons to our own history to gain a better understanding!

‘I LOVED learning about Lunar New Year from YaoYao! She taught us so much about the Chinese culture and what the dance moves meant. It was brilliant – I want to do it again!’ – Max, year 5

10 pupils, aged 7-11, engaged in a pupil voice activity to share their perspectives on History in KS2. The pupils revealed that History is generally a well-liked subject, with lessons taking place approximately once a week. They expressed genuine interest in the subject and highlighted their experiences of using artefacts, computers, stories, and research books in their history lessons. Additionally, the pupils acknowledged the significance of history in understanding the past. They also indicated that they felt confident in understanding their progress in the subject.

At St. Catherine’s, while we acknowledge the importance of Black History Month, we firmly believe in a holistic approach to representation rather than tokenistic gestures. Recognising the significance of black history alongside the histories of all communities, we integrate diverse perspectives into our curriculum throughout the year. Our aim is not only to celebrate diversity but also to provide comprehensive insights into the contributions of historically marginalised communities. For instance, when studying periods like the Tudor era, we delve into the often-overlooked contributions of black communities during that time. By highlighting these narratives, we ensure that all children gain a nuanced understanding of history, moving beyond the limitations of traditional narratives often centered on ‘typical white history’. Our commitment lies in fostering inclusivity and empowering every child to appreciate the richness of diverse historical experiences.

At St. Catherine’s, children recently participated in immersive workshops centered on African history and culture. Through engaging drumming and dance sessions, students were immersed in hands-on experiences that brought the vibrancy and richness of African heritage to life. These workshops not only provided a platform for cultural exploration but also fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation for diverse traditions and practices. By actively engaging in these activities, pupils were able to connect with African history and culture in a dynamic and enriching way, broadening their perspectives and celebrating the diversity of our world.