‘A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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.’
National Curriculum, 2014.
In EYFS, History is introduced and taught within a topic-based approach. Between Year One and Year Six, pupils study History every other half term, in tandem with geography, for one afternoon lesson each week (either a 60-minute or 90-minute lesson, depending on the content). KS1 units of work gradually expand children’s understanding of the past through from their own lives and the lives of their families to key events and people over the past five hundred years. KS2 units of work move chronologically from Prehistoric Britain to the twentieth century. Often, a world history unit is taught directly after a unit of concurrent British History. History is often used as a stimulus for quality writing in English lessons, and children will also have ample opportunities to read and write as historians during their History lessons.
Underpinning each unit of work is a core body of knowledge that is systematically taught, revised and revisited at distance to ensure that learning is committed to long-term memory. As historians, children will constantly revisit these five key disciplinary concepts:
- chronology and narrating the past;
- recognising patterns, trends, similarities and differences;
- using appropriate vocabulary, both substantive and disciplinary;
- asking and answering appropriate questions;
- recognising, using and interpreting sources of evidence and information.
We structure our decisions about 'what to teach' based on the national curriculum and six concepts that develop over the course of study:
Our curriculum model is influenced by the resources provided by our strategic partner, The Reach Foundation, ensuring that we meet or exceed the ambition of the National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2. We consult with Brigshaw High School to ensure smooth progression between KS2 and KS3. We use booklets and knowledge organisers in history to ensure that staff and pupils are clear about the knowledge and skills that are being taught.
We begin each history unit with a diagnostic assessment to check children’s retention of key information. This helps us to reshape our initial planning. Formative assessment (quizzes and retrieval practice) gives children the opportunity to revisit knowledge from earlier in the unit and aids retention. Summative assessment, in the form of an essay or an essay plan, allows children to demonstrate multiple strands of learning from across the unit.
For more information on about the History curriculum, please see Mr Asquith.