Boys across the School have been learning about the significance of the Coronation of our new monarchs, as King Charles III, together the Queen Consort, will be crowned at Westminster Abbey.
This will be the first coronation of a British monarch for 70 years with the UK being the only country in Europe still to host the Coronation ceremony. This is extremely important as the ceremony’s roots include traditions that are over 1000 years old; with the first recorded coronation service being for King Edgar in 973.
At Davenies, the boys follow British History all the way through the different eras and so this significant and special event allows the boys to consolidate all previous learning, linking previous topics and components together through substantive concepts that run through each year’s history curriculum such as the monarchy, British values and continuity and change.
Within the Pre-Prep, such special events lend themselves to a key theme of ‘changes within living memory’ comparing the coronation in 2023 with that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. In the Junior School, the boys have been following a line of research that they themselves were able to choose from a list of topics including the history of coronations, the ceremony itself and the historical important of Westminster Abbey. Reason being as since 1066 the coronation of every British monarch has been held at Westminster Abbey in London.
In Years 5 and 6, the Middle School boys looked at the chronology from King Edgar’s coronation in Anglo-Saxon times, linking to Year 5’s topic from the Autumn Term, as well as Year 6 recapping work from just before the Norman Conquest. King Harold II was the first British monarch to have a coronation at Westminster Abbey in January 1066 which was followed by William I on Christmas Day 1066, after winning the Battle of Hastings in October – something Year 6 are only too well aware of from recent studies. This comparison of substantive concepts within the subject enables the boys to build on previous knowledge to add depth and breadth to their understanding in addition to making History relevant today.
With Year 7 preparing for upcoming exams, the weekend’s celebrations have provided the chance for them to work on their source analysis skills whereby they need to compare various sources in order to determine utility – similar to section one of their ‘unseen’ evidence question at Common Entrance.
Each year then ended with an interactive Kahoot! on King Charles III. As expected, the boys rose to the fun-natured competition and enjoyed consolidating their learning.
It has certainly been a momentous Academic Year for British History, both with the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022 and now the coronation of King Charles III. Both occasions have provided rich opportunities to keep history relevant by contextualising British identity for the boys at every age, so to engage and inspire them to respond well to the challenges presented by the tasks and extensions. More importantly, it has provided the boys with a better understanding and appreciation of the event to get more out of their own celebrations when being part of this historic event over the weekend, which they can look back on fondly in the years to come.
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