Intent – how we have planned our history curriculum
Our intent of history teaching here at Belton CE Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity, and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage.
We aim to ensure they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today.
We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving. Our history curriculum provides opportunities for all pupils, including SEND and disadvantaged pupils, to develop the skills, knowledge and independence to continue their future history learning in Year 7 and beyond.
Through our history curriculum, our aims are:
- to engage interest in the past and stimulate children’s curiosity into finding out more;
- to develop knowledge and understanding of how people lived in other times and how those times were different from today;
- to enable children to know about significant events in British history, and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
- to develop a sense of chronology;
- to encourage thinking about cause and effect, and how the past influences the present to experience a range of representations of the past;
- to develop the ability to communicate historical knowledge in a variety of forms;
- to understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture, and to study aspects of European history;
- to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
- to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their citizenship and cultural heritage;
- to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
In the Foundation Stage children study Past and Present through the Understanding of the World topic. Children develop an understanding and knowledge of some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. They understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling. Children access these objectives through provision which is centered around the children and their enquiry, with much emphasis placed upon stories and discussions. It is important to recognise that the early years education is the building blocks to children accessing the Key Stage 1 learning.
At our school, in KS1 and 2 we follow the national curriculum and a scheme of work, Collins Connected, to guide teachers with their planning and assessment. Learning is facilitated through pupils pursuing a key question led enquiry approach, which encourages them to take increasing responsibility for their learning, think independently and achieve challenging outcomes. All topics will begin with an overarching question which the children will work towards answering. This is not always completed through writing, by a range of opportunities including discussions, debates and role play.
All lessons begin with a key question being posed to the children to focus the lesson on a particular part of history. This will ensure that we are embedding the knowledge in the children’s minds by allowing them to think for themselves, rather than feeding them information. In every History lesson, it is made explicit to pupils that they are being taught History. Specifically named Historical knowledge, skills and understanding are also referred to throughout the enquiries: Chronological Understanding, Perspective, Change and Continuity, Similarities/ Differences, Significance of events and people, Empathy, Causation and Historical Sources. It is expected that the pupils will become familiar with these terms as they progress through the school.
In addition to this, staff understand that the pupils will progress through transferable learning skills in order to develop as Historians. For example, pupils in Year 1 will be expected to observe, recognise and identify. Year 2 will speculate, summarise and classify. A Historian in Year 6 will empathise, justify and hypothesise in their lessons. These are the specific skills that the teachers will assess.
Through the use of the History Progression Document, teachers can become familiar with previous and subsequent year groups’ content in order to link learning, close gaps and build on previous knowledge.
A love of history is encouraged throughout school through the use of external trips, visitors and celebrations of significant events. This allows children to develop their skills beyond the classroom.
Children will use a range of sources throughout a series of lessons to allow them to make a reasonable judgement and create their own opinion. Children who have shown their understanding at a deep level within the unit, will have opportunities to apply these skills in a greater depth activity. This should be challenging and allow the children to apply what they have learnt in previous years to make an informed opinion.
History is enriched through the use of ICT. Children are regularly given opportunities to research and present their findings.
Due to the numbers on roll, we use a rolling programme of planning as we have mixed age classes. When planning each enquiry, teaching staff ensure that the outcome for each year group is pedagogically appropriate, taking all of the above into consideration.
At the end of each year, children will have gained a deep understanding of chronology, historical vocabulary and skills. As they progress throughout school, they will be able to make links between the periods of time which they have studied which will in turn increase their curiosity, allowing them to debate and reflect on their own interest areas.
Through discussions and feedback, children will build upon their confidence by sharing their knowledge with their peers. Each child will use acquired vocabulary to interpret and convey their understanding of the past. They can analyse and interpret information in order to question and reflect on the legacies.
By following the Collins Connected Scheme, Historical skills are taught to a high standard which is consistent throughout school.
Children show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of the work.