Our history curriculum is designed to develop a love of the subject. We want to ignite all children’s curiosity about the past and to learn more about themselves, the community they live in and the wider world. We offer opportunities for the children to learn more about their local history. We recognise the importance of teaching vocabulary and specific historical skills alongside historical knowledge so that we can develop skillful historians. All children are encouraged to think like historians and develop their skills, including historical enquiry. We use an enquiry-based approach to do this as we believe that those meaningful experiences will turn short term knowledge into long term memory. We provide opportunities to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop prospective and judgements. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s other skills such as understanding of chronology, changes within a time and across time periods and cause and consequence.
History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life. We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts and wherever possible arranging field work visits to relevant sites of historical interest in the region or bringing in specialists for in-school workshops.
In Reception, children will explore the different 'topics' through focused work and continuous provision around the classroom, with specific links to the Early Learning Goals. As pupils move into Key Stage 1, children continue to learn through topics, which link learning together in half termly blocks. As children progress into Lower Key Stage 2, they begin to focus on discrete areas of History, linking their learning to prior experiences.
The knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum are the backbone of teachers planning.
Planning is created by teachers, using the whole school scheme of learning, which is based on the Historical Association website, with a knowledge and skills progression created to to make sure the curriculum is progressive throughout the whole school.
- Set out clear learning objectives, linked to Curriculum programmes of study.
- Use the interests of pupils.
- Use the topic or theme to develop core skills.
- Ensure progression and continuity of skills across the school.
- Match the needs of individuals in class to ensure the learning is accessible to all.
- Evaluate and assess understanding.
At the beginning of each unit, children are given the opportunity to share what they know already, as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to how all learners will be taught, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
Through our history lessons, pupils should learn key vocabulary and be able to apply their historical skills to a range of historical enquiries.
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and pupils are curious to know more about the past. Through this study pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We ensure that our pupils are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.