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.
Source: National Curriculum, 2014
History is all around us! At Ash Church of England Primary School, we believe good history lessons can inspire children to act and think like historians. The history curriculum at Ash Church of England Primary draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality. Using Cornerstones Curriculum, children have the opportunity to develop characteristics of historians. We endeavour to provide diverse and challenging learning materials. Our History curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked with previous learning. We aim to fulfil the requirements of the National curriculum by providing a broad, balanced, and differentiated curriculum. We also aim to deliver a history curriculum that is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more.
We want children to be curious to know more about the past and to have the skills required to explore their own interests and investigate different time periods. History lessons focus on working as historians and we aim to enable children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
Our history curriculum aims to excite the children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians. History is taught through a two-year cycle as detailed out in our curriculum overviews. For our pupils at Ash Church of England School, we want them to develop their skills as a historian and not to just learn facts about the past. Therefore, for them to be successful they will learn to research, interpret evidence, and learn the skills to argue their point of view. Where possible we will go on trips and have visits which will enhance their learning experience.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Teachers use a variety of teaching and learning styles in their history lessons to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in history. At Ash Church of England Primary School our history curriculum is planned in line with the knowledge and skills outlined in the National Curriculum through KS1 and KS2. We cover each required topic of the national curriculum along with some additional topics which we believe enhance prior learning and encourage children to develop a love of history.
Our EYFS classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. ‘Understanding the World’ involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and investigate people, places, technology and the environment.
We believe children learn best when:
- They have access to, and are able to handle artefacts
- They go on visits to museums and places of interest
- They have access to secondary sources such as books and photographs
- Visitors talk about personal experiences of the past
- They undertake fieldwork by interviewing family and older friends about changes in their own and other people’s lives
- They use drama to act out historical events
- They are shown, or use independently, resources from the internet and videos
- They are able to use non-fiction books for research
- They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask as well as answer historical questions.
We recognise that there are children of differing abilities in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children. We achieve this through a range of strategies which are differentiated by expected outcome and support from peers or adults.
Progress and attainment in History is demonstrated through regularly reviewing and assessments of children’s work.
This is achieved namely by:
- Looking at children’s work at different points throughout the year as they gain skills and knowledge
- Reviewing each year group’s Medium Term Planning
- Looking at subject formative data and teacher assessments
- Observing how children perform and interact in lessons
- Talking to children about what they know, including what they enjoy about History and different areas that are covered in it.
At Ash Church of England Primary School, we focus on observing and evaluating our end goals:
- Children foster a love and enthusiasm for History, showing interest in learning further about many aspects of the subject.
- As well as developing a secure understanding of historical content taught, children develop strong history based skills, using sources, enquiring, raising questions and investigating.
- Learning is progressive, investigative and reflective.
The impact of our History curriculum is measured by regular monitoring, observations and teacher assessment.
By the time the children leave our Ash Primary School, they should have developed:
· Increasing knowledge of how historical events have shaped the world that they currently live in.
· A secure knowledge and understanding of people and events from historical periods covered.
· The ability to retain prior learning and be able to make connections between what they have previously learnt and what they are currently learning.
· The ability to ask perceptive questions and think critically.