Friday, 4 February 2011

Waving My Baby Off

At 6am this morning you could find me, together with a number of other parents, standing anxiously by a coach to wave our babies off on their school trip to Belgium to visit the World War 1 cemeteries in Ypres. (I say babies loosely - my son is 13 years old and nearly 6 foot tall but you get the idea)

The fact that they are studying World War 1 got me thinking back to my days at high school and the history I studied - from the Italian Renaissance to James II.  Thrilling as they were, they are not topics which come up too often in conversation and not ones which really prepare you for today's world. So I was really pleased to learn the Key Stage 3 History Curriculum now includes the following topics:
European and world history

  • the impact of significant political, social, cultural, religious, technological and/or economic developments and events on past European and world societies
  • the changing nature of conflict and cooperation between countries and peoples and its lasting impact on national, ethnic, racial, cultural or religious issues, including the nature and impact of the two world wars and the Holocaust, and the role of European and international institutions in resolving conflicts.
If we want our children to understand the world today and their part in it then its vital that they are given the opportunity to study those recent events which have shaped it and this means not glossing over the history of the 20th Century or the Two World Wars (as I believe happened in my day).  

Children must see and study for themselves the effect wars have on real people, on governments and on countries. Its essential that their view of war is not dictated by Hollywood blockbusters or more worryingly by graphic video games.

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