History topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area and recent news and events. Our history curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.
• Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
• Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
History is taught in termly blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve mastery in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each unit have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years). Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and checked and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians. An emphasis on sources enables children to understand the many ways that the past can be represented, and from these, they are encouraged to hypothesis.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the school’s curriculum long term plans. The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. Educational visits are planned, in order to provide engaging contexts for learning,
Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. Teachers carefully design the sequence of their history lessons. Planning of units of work is underpinned by the 5 Cs of content, coherence, creativity, compassion and community. Subject specific CPD has been delivered by the History subject lead from our local secondary school and the teachers can access a range of resources to support their teaching through websites such as the Historical Association, which the school is a member of. The history curriculum is designed to ensure appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about. Teachers cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. Our subject long-term plans clearly set out the subject specific knowledge that children will have on entering Year 1 study.
Outcomes in topic and literacy books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Pupil voice activities are regularly carried out by subject leaders and governors, in order to monitor the impact of teaching on knowledge acquisition. Children can talk confidently and enthusiastically, sharing the knowledge that they have gained during a topic.
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning, and children demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, in addition to being curious to know more about the past. Opportunities are planned for children to bring the 'then' to 'now', considering how past events have had an impact on our lives today. Embedded within planning are also opportunities for children to consider how they can show compassion and create community links as a result of their learning about the past. Children use journaling to record their learning. Journaling questions are carefully planned to ensure that children think critically and are apply to apply understanding of the past to their lives today.