Why We Study History
Our school History curriculum is based on an aspiration to provide all our children with memorable experiences that reflect our school ethos of ‘Reaching For The Stars’ and celebrate our rich and diverse community and the world within which we live.
Over time our children will build up a picture of Local, British and World History from the earliest times to the present day. With high expectations for all, we actively foster support for each child to enable them to develop key skills to enquire about the past. So that at the end of their learning journey, they will have acquired a breadth of knowledge of significant people and events that have made a significant impact on our lives today.
Children will know about and understand the nature of ancient civilisations and significant aspects of British and World History. They will make connections between periods in time and learn how we use a variety of sources to answer our questions about the past.
Our school values underpin the planning of an engaging History curriculum. Whilst studying History, we are experiential in providing appropriate experiences both within school or through external visits that help to stimulate the learning of all.
Whilst studying significant individuals we learn of their successes, failures and perseverance. This teaches us that throughout history the significance of those individuals is borne from their resilience when facing challenges and learning from their mistakes. We learn that some accounts of History may be biased; highlighting why it is important to critically analyse historical sources of information and evidence.
We also learn that historical events have both positive and negative effects on the lives of others. Our learning tasks provide opportunities to enquire, collaborate and communicate with each other and is inspiring in a way that fosters a love for learning.
Our fundamental intent is that our children aspire to be the very best they can be and are excited to learn.
How We Teach History
Teaching focuses on enabling the children to think like historians, placing emphasis on examining both primary and secondary sources of evidence.
We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and promote the use of searching questions such as “How do we know?” or “What evidence supports this?” about the information given.
We carry out curriculum planning in history in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the history topics studied in each term for each Key Stage; the history subject leader co-ordinates this in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group ensuring that the children are given the opportunity to study history topics in conjunction with other areas of the curriculum.
We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely different abilities and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
- Setting common tasks, which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- Setting tasks of increasing difficulty – not all children complete all tasks;
- Grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks for each ability group;
- Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child;
- Using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.
What Is Special About History In Our School
We aim to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip the children for future learning.
The key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units of study, are:
- Chronological Understanding (CU);
- Historical Knowledge (HK);
- Interpretations of History (IH);
- Historical Enquiry (HE) and
- Organisation and Communication (OC).
Children across the school have access to high quality teaching and will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of not only Britain’s past but also the wider world and how the past has shaped our world today.
Each year group is given the opportunity to visit local and national sites of historical significance and we actively encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. This enables pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives and the process of change, how they fit into their history and begin to appreciate the challenges of their time.
We have also engaged with local artisans, so that children, can not only see historic skills in practice but also have the opportunity to create their own replica artefacts.
The learning environment across the school has historical technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners.
We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge and understanding, now and in the future.
‘A people without the past knowledge of their history, origin or culture is like a tree with no roots’
Marcus Garvey, Black Nationalist and political activist.