Subject leader: Miss Yarrow
‘Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of all garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’
Matthew 13 vs.31-32
Our entire curriculum, including History, is underpinned by the ‘Parable of the Mustard Seed’ and summarised by our motto:
Together may we give our children: roots to grow and wings to fly.
We want our children to love history. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts. Our aim is that, through the teaching of History, we stimulate all children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to ignite a passion and curiosity about the past and to think and act as historians. Through history specific and lessons delivered through the wider curriculum, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically.
We develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become historians:
- An excellent knowledge and understanding of chronology, people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past;
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences;
- The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources developing wisdom and knowledge of history;
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry;
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning;
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
- A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
Teachers will ensure teaching of history has the school’s Christian ethos and values at its heart. A cohesive curriculum is built by ensuring all historical themes provide children with the opportunity to develop substantive and disciplinary concepts. This will help children make connections and links to their prior learning ensuring that knowledge and skills are developed during their time in school.
Children will have the opportunity to explore British Values, Christian Values and SMSC through history lessons. Our curriculum aims to reflect upon and provide children with an understanding of history within our locality and the impact of this upon the country and the wider world.
In our early years setting, the concept of history is introduced through the EYFS statutory educational programme for ‘Understanding the World’ and at the end of Reception, children’s expected level of development is set out in the early learning goal ‘Past and Present’. Children talk about their families and memories. Through stories, children learn how things have changed, as well as significant events and people from the past.
In Years 1 – 6 our History schemes of work, created through Kapow, emphasise the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches. These strands are interwoven through all our History units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do.
Each unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. Children will develop their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time.
Units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to follow the enquiry cycle (Question, Investigate, Interpret, Evaluate and conclude, Communicate) when answering historical questions.
Over the course of the scheme, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
• Change and continuity.
• Cause and consequence.
• Similarities and differences.
• Historical significance.
• Historical interpretations.
• Sources of evidence.
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements.
Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, clearly identified in Lower key stage 2 and revisited in Upper key stage 2 allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History.
Our History curriculum is a spiral model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.
Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly-effective and robust history curriculum. Each unit of lessons focuses on the key subject knowledge needed to deliver the curriculum, making links with prior learning and identifying possible misconceptions.
Our children are exploring History. Considerations within the classroom and the delivery of History will be made to cater for each and every child regardless of ability or need. Differentiated learning and enrichment opportunities will allow all children to access the History curriculum. In extreme cases, a pupil whose difficulties are complex may need to be supported with an individualised programme in the main part of the lesson. For those who demonstrate a greater understanding of Historical concepts, differentiated learning and enrichment opportunities will be identified to engage and accelerate learning.
Our History curriculum is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a skill catcher and knowledge assessment quiz which can be used at the end of the unit to provide a summative assessment.
Through this curriculum pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.
For more information regarding our History curriculum (including our curriculum map and key procedures), please click on the ‘Useful Documents’ links below.
Similarly, under ‘Useful Links’, you can find more information regarding supplementary resources and other useful websites.
For any further detail, please contact school.