Stone Age to Iron Age
The British Isles has been populated by humans for 750.000 years but only became an island when the ice sheets melted about 8,000 years ago. It was only with the introduction of farming about 7,000 years ago that we see radical change.
1. You need to make this a problem-solving topic not just a series of changes relating to tools, houses, clothing settlements and monuments . Ask pupils to predict the impact that new discoveries would have on people’s lives, always stressing continuities. Before the New Stone Age man was already clearing woodland around sources of water to maintain a steady supply of deer
❷ Changes didn’t happen quickly. Farming took 2,000 years to be fully introduced. The idea of farming started in Syria and Iraq and was brought to Britain around 5,000 BC.
❸ Some changes were more significant than others, especially the introduction of arable farming about 7,000 years ago
❹ When using timelines to show change, make sure you show overlaps too. Man didn’t stop hunting as soon as he learnt how to farm
❺ Make good use of archaeological finds to show how we understand societies, before they learned how to write. Stress how we cannot know some things for sure e.g. why Stonehenge was built. Use evidence from Star Carr, Cresswell Crags, Skara Brae, Danebury, Maiden Castle
❻ It makes sense for this topic to come before the Romans so you can build a sense of narrative and save time by not having to revisit the Celts