St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

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Welcome to our Year 6 History Topic!


Our history topic will span over the Autumn Term.


What made the Ancient Egyptians one of the most Successful Civilisations?


Ancient Egyptians: - Who ruled ancient Egypt? - What was ancient Egyptian society like? - Why was the River Nile important? - Why did the ancient Egyptians build the pyramids? - What did the ancient Egyptians believe in? - How do we know about the ancient Egyptians?


What will I learn?


In this unit, pupils will explore the ancient Egyptian civilisation and how over 30 dynasties created a successful Egypt throughout a 3000-year period. The unit begins with an overview of the dynasties and focuses on the Old, Middle and New kingdoms as the main periods of ancient Egyptian history. In understanding how Egypt was ruled, pupils will begin to think about the significance of some notable pharaohs and how successful they were in leading Egypt. Lesson 2 explores ancient Egyptian society. Pupils gain an understanding of how Egypt was structured and how the different people in society contributed to the success of Egypt. Notably, the scribes and artisans wrote down and created artefacts that have survived until today and enable us to understand ancient Egypt’s past in detail.


Lesson 3 introduces pupils to the significance of the materials the River Nile provided as well as the vital transport links. Ultimately, the survival of the Egyptians relied on the River Nile. As the unit progresses, pupils explore the pyramids, looking closely at why and how they were built. The misconception that the pyramids were built by slaves is addressed and pupils come to understand that they were actually built by workers. Lesson 5 introduces ancient Egyptian beliefs. Pupils will practise their skills of analysis to understand how important the afterlife and mummification were to the Egyptians.


The final lesson in the unit gives the pupils information about the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb If there is more time, it is recommended to look at the artefacts of Tut’s tomb and to understand how the history of Egypt has created a vibrant field of study all its own: Egyptology. In their Discovery Boxes, pupils have been asked to investigate the treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb and may therefore come with pre-existing knowledge. Pupils also explore the more recent discoveries at Saqqara, and this highlights how rich the ancient Egyptian history is. In this lesson, pupils will contend with a highly debated question ‘Should artefacts be left in their original location?’ Pupils should engage in whole class debate before coming to a conclusion.