“There is no agreed single canon of historical content. History should allow pupils to encounter very different societies from their own, and to weigh different interpretations. They should study important themes from British history but also from European, American and non-Western history. The subject should be relevant: more distant history, such as the Crusades or the Reformation can often be just as illuminating as more recent topics. Above all, history should encourage openness of mind, respect for other views, and the ability to distinguish a valid and a shoddy line of argument.”
Sean Lang, Historical Association
History teaching focuses on enabling pupils to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical evidence from primary and secondary sources. We welcome visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past and organise themed enrichment days to immerse the children into a particular topic. We organise visits to sites of historical interest to further deepen our pupils’ understanding of the topic. We recognize and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping pupils understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given.
We recognise the fact that in all classes there are pupils of widely-different abilities in history and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all pupils by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
HISTORY CURRICULUM PLANNING
We use the objectives set out in the National Curriculum as the basis for our planning in history, but we have adapted this to the local context. We ensure that there are opportunities for pupils of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and we build planned progression into the scheme of work so that the pupils are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school (see progression table of skills and knowledge below).
The long-term plan maps out the topics to be covered over the 4 year cycle (KS2) or 3 year cycle (EYFS/KS1).
The history schemes of work are written by the history subject leader, under the direction of the head teacher. In each topic substantive and disciplinary knowledge should be developed simultaneously.
Children will develop their disciplinary understanding through their learning about key knowledge themes: the knowledge about specific periods of history that we teach as establish facts. These concepts are repeated as children move up through the key stages, creating a pathway through their history learning that builds up a conceptual map of understanding.
History Key Knowledge themes
Lessons will also build on children’s historical skills: chronological understanding, knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past, historical interpretation, historical enquiry, organisation and communication – see progression of skills table.
Assessment is built into our programmes of work. Children’s work is recorded in History books and the red home-school books sometimes with evaluations from the pupils. Flashback retrieval questions at the start of lessons and end of unit quizzes are used to assess children’s recall of historical knowledge.
History in EYFS
Reception pupils learn about History through playful, practical and focused tasks. Their curriculum is guided by the “Understanding of the World” statements found in the Development Matters document for September 2021 that school has chosen to adopt early in September 2020. Reception children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals in Summer with History assessed under the new Early Learning Goal titled “Past and Present.”
KS2 Stone Age Day!
Key Stage 2 WW2 Day!
Key Stage 2 trip to Jorvik