This project teaches children about the English and British monarchy from AD 871 to the present day. Using timelines, information about royal palaces, portraits and other historical sources, they build up an understanding of the monarchs and then research six of the most significant sovereigns.
Important individual achievements include great discoveries and actions that have helped many people.
Life has changed over time due to changes in technology, inventions, society, use of materials, land use and new ideas about how things should be done.
Hierarchy is a way of organising people according to how important they are or were. Most past societies had a monarch or leader at the top of their hierarchy, nobles, lords or landowners in the middle and poor workers or slaves at the bottom.
The feudal system was a way of organising society. The king was at the top of the feudal system followed by the tenants-in-chief, knights and peasants. Peasants were either freemen or serfs. Serfs were at the bottom of the feudal system.
Artefacts are objects and things made by people rather than natural objects. They provide evidence about the past. Examples include coins, buildings, written texts or ruins.
Royal portraiture is a centuries old tradition used to promote the wealth, power and importance of a monarch. The facial expressions, objects, clothing, poses and backgrounds in royal portraits are used to give a message about the monarch to the viewer.
Significant events affect the lives of many people over a long period of time and are sometimes commemorated. For example, Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11th November to remember the end of the First World War.
Historical information can be presented in a variety of ways. For example, in a non-chronological report, information about a historical topic is presented without organising it into chronological order.
Elizabeth II is a constitutional monarch whose role is the head of state of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. Her work includes supporting charities, presenting awards, opening parliament, hosting garden parties and royal banquets and passing the Crown Act.
As Elizabeth II’s eldest child, Prince Charles is next in line to the British throne.
A timeline is a display of events, people or objects in chronological order. A timeline can show different periods of time, from a few years to millions of years.
A historical period is the duration of a monarch’s reign. Historical periods include Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Plantagenet, House of Lancaster, House of York, Tudor, Stuart, Restoration, Hanoverian, House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and House of Windsor.
There has been over 60 monarchs since AD 871.
Six significant sovereigns in English and British history are Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II.
The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth, nearly 70 metres long and 50 centimetres tall, which shows the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, including the Battle of Hastings.
William, Duke of Normandy, thought he would be king after Edward the Confessor died. When Harold Godwinson became king instead, William invaded England and took the throne himself, earning the name William the Conqueror.
Historical models, such as Dawson’s model and diamond ranking, help us to organise and sort historical information.
Alfred the Great ruled between AD 871–899. He defeated Viking invaders and became the first king of a unified England. He also valued reading and knowledge and translated books from Latin for others to read.
Henry VIII is most famous for his desire to have a son as heir to the throne of England. To try to achieve this, he split from the Roman Catholic Church, divorced his first wife and married Anne Boleyn. Henry had three children, including a son, Edward.
Some of Henry VIII’s actions during his reign, such as supporting the arts and sport, had a positive impact. Some, such as breaking from the Roman Catholic Church and spending money on wars and a lavish lifestyle had a negative impact.
Elizabeth I was the second daughter of Henry VIII. She became queen after her brother, Edward VI and sister, Mary I had died. She wasn’t married and ruled the country alone. She became popular with ordinary people and supported exploration, the arts and the Church of England. Her Royal Navy stopped an invasion by the Spanish Armada in 1558.
Elizabeth I’s actions, such as bringing religious peace, making good relationships with other European countries and strengthening the role of parliament, had a significant impact on England.
Queen Victoria was the Queen of the United Kingdom and head of the British Empire. She supported social reform and laws to make the lives of poor people better. Her children and grandchildren married into the royal families of Europe.
A year is 365 days and a leap year is 366 days. A decade is 10 years. A century is 100 years.
Historical terms and phrases linked to kings and queens include royal, monarchy, monarch, hierarchy, castle, palace, sovereign, ruler, chronology, timeline, power, rule, AD (anno Domini), reign, period and century.
Describe and explain the importance of a significant individual’s achievements on British history.
Describe how an aspect of life has changed over time.
Describe the hierarchy of a past society.
Examine an artefact and suggest what it is, where it is from, when and why it was made and who owned it.
Explain why an event from the past is significant.
Present historical information in a simple non-chronological report, independent writing, chart, structural model, fact file, quiz, story or biography.
Sequence significant information in chronological order.
Use historical models to make judgements about significance and describe the impact of a significant historical individual.
Use the historical terms year, decade and century.