Our History curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity about the past. Alongside historical knowledge there is a high focus on the development of specific historical skills through discrete History lessons to ensure children know more and remember more.
The teaching of history in our school is intended to equip pupils to ask questions about the past, analyse evidence, think critically, appreciate different perspectives and develop informed judgements.
History is delivered as a discrete subject and wherever possible cross curricular links are exploited, particularly links with British Values and SMSC. There is a strong emphasis on developing skills such as understanding of chronology, interpretations of evidence, changes within a time and across time periods and cause and consequence.
Our History curriculum covers the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring themes which are supplemented by the CUSP Curriculum. History lessons are planned to engage and excite all learners, including opportunities to study key historical people and their significance. Planning ensures an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term, as well as ensuring there is progression throughout school. New learning carefully builds on prior learning so that children can make sense of the subject. We ensure that children are engaged and are curious about the curriculum by introducing each lesson with an enquiry question. All new units of work begin with placing the era they are to study on a timeline within times they have already studied; this allows for the opportunity to develop their chronological understanding and also make links with previous learning. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that by the end of year six, pupils have the cultural capital to be successful in History in their secondary school.
Children are given a wide variety of experiences both in the classroom and out. We encourage school visits and visitors into school to enable the children to gain first-hand experiences to support their learning. In KS2, we have made beneficial use of visitors coming into school and history themed visits. Year 4 have previously visited The Jorvik Centre to complement their Viking studies, and also have an immersive company come in to exhibit what life was like in Roman times! When learning about the Ancient Egyptians in year 5, their memorable experience is all about learning how and why they used mummification. They watch a live shadow performance of mummification being completed. Year 6 have previously visited a Holocaust exhibition at our local university to complement their WW2 topic.
Displays specific to history themes are used in lessons to highlight key knowledge and vocabulary. Both fiction and non-fiction texts are used to develop children’s historical understanding and links to our book-led curriculum. Non- fiction texts are displayed for children to research and to further support their learning.
At the end of each unit, children’s learning is assessed against the objectives and skills identified on the planning. A bronze, silver or gold sticker is added which demonstrates their attainment for that unit.
By the time the children leave our school we expect children to have developed:
- A secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods covered.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
- The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, forming and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgements.
- “I think History is an important subject because you learn about the past and use this to make things better in the future.”
- “My favourite topics have been learning about WW2 and Victorians.”
- “I really enjoyed the memorable experience when an Anglo Saxon came to visit us.”
- “I enjoy History because you learn about what other people did and fought for.”
- “I liked learning about important people such as Grace Darling and Marie Curie.