Our History Curriculum is based on what we know is best for our pupils. We believe that History plays an essential part of our curriculum by instilling a love of learning and deepening our pupils understanding. Our History curriculum makes full use of resources, sources and visitors both in our surrounding area and further afield, to support the teaching of History to all of our pupils, irrespective of their different needs and abilities. We aim to expose children to substantive knowledge (substance knowledge e.g key dates, key people, features and events) and disciplinary knowledge (the sills used to interpret the past, e.g cause, effect, causation, and sources). We expose children to a variety of sources to allow them to discuss the validity and accuracy of these, allowing discussions and debates to take place; so all children have the freedom of speech to voice their opinions. This leads nicely into providing opportunities for our children to read and write at length about their current topic. We ensure children receive hands on learning opportunities where possible in their topics, as feedback from our children highlighted the importance of replicas, artefacts and school trips to their learning experience.
With our school being situated in a deprived area, we aim to provide children with a deeper understanding of their local area and link this to topics being taught where possible. These links allow children to get a deeper understanding of where they live and how things have changed over time and where they fit into society and the world around them.
We provide pupils with a chronological awareness of the past both in Britain and the wider world and discuss how these events have impacted and influenced our future. We aim to relate pupils learning to the National Curriculum objectives, but also allow them chance to be inquisitive about events both current and historic.
Our curriculum has been coherently planned to ensure the structure and progression builds on from pupil’s previous learning. We aim to stimulate pupil’s curiosity and fascination of the past and encourage them to ask questions, think critically, evaluate the reliability of sources and develop their own opinions informed by their finding. Through doing so, we are determined to ensure pupils deepen their knowledge and expose pupils to a variety of significant individuals and diverse societies. This will in turn, allow pupils to understand their own identity and how the past has influenced the future.
Coverage and progression
We have recently revised our curriculum to ensure we have good chronology throughout the school. This increase of our chronological understanding allows us as staff to ensure children have clear progression throughout their school lives and that past lessons impact and build on the children’s prior knowledge to supply them with a wealth of knowledge regarding a number of different periods within History but how they all link through cause and effect.
The aims of History in our school are:
- to encourage children to have an interest and enthusiasm about the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that History has to offer;
- to develop research skills and opportunities to convey understanding and interpretations of the past in a variety of ways;
- to improve children’s knowledge and understanding of significant events and people in British History, Europe and the world and to appreciate how things have changed over time due to these events/people;
- to develop a sense of chronology;
- to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
- to help children understand why events took place, the causes and effects they had on people and the world around us;
- to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of identity of their cultural heritage;
- to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
- to develop independent research skills through enquiry-based learning and provide situations for independent and group activities.
Teaching and learning style
The expectation of History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources to give children a real sense of importance and an inquisitive mind towards History. We give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in History teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We understand that the teaching and learning styles will vary from lesson to lesson and will need to focus on the needs of the individual children and what they are interested in learning about. We aim to bring History alive for our children and mainly this is taught through theme based lessons linking with the National Curriculum. We believe lessons should be as practical as possible and focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask questions about information they are given, such as “how do we know? who did this effect? Can this happen today?”.
We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely different abilities in History 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;
- setting different tasks for each ability but having a no ceiling approach so children are able to move on if they are able;
- providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child;
- using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.
Enrichment within History
As part of the History curriculum we believe it is important for children to have the best learning experiences while they are with us. In order to give children these experiences we provide them with WOW days, this is a day off timetable and linked to their topic, we also encourage trips, visitors, use or replicas and artifacts as well as inviting our parents into school to share our learning and enjoy our topics with us.
History curriculum planning
The National Curriculum has changed slightly as there is now a need for children to develop more awareness of time in context and there is a greater emphasis on the chronology and understanding of Britain’s past. For an overview of the topics for each year group.
We use the Early Years Foundation Stage document in EYFS and the National Curriculum scheme of work for History from KS1 and KS2 as the basis for our curriculum planning in History, but we have adapted this by building on the successful units of work already in place with the use of progression maps. We ensure that there are opportunities for children 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 children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.
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 during the key stage; the History subject leader works this out in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group. In Key Stage 1 we aim to give children an understanding of what History is and introduce them to some of the key terminology they will hear throughout their learning. At Key Stage 2 we place an increasing emphasis on independent historical study, cause and effect and chronology. We teach the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the National Curriculum through the corresponding programme of study.
The class teacher writes the lesson plans for each History lesson (short-term plans). These plans list the specific learning objectives of each lesson. The class teacher keeps these individual plans, although s/he and the History subject leader often discuss them on an informal basis.
Teaching History to children with special educational needs (SEN), inclusion and differentiation to all
We teach History to all children, whatever their ability and make their learning appropriate for their stage of development. History forms part of the school’s curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all our children. We provide learning opportunities matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties and we take into account the needs of all our children in order to ensure they get the best out of their education, with the correct support. We aim to challenge our children and it this is an integral part of our teaching strategy within the school as we expect all children to reach their full potential and children are push and encouraged to believe in their own abilities. Differentiated tasks will aid the children in their learning; however a no ceiling approach is given to all lessons taught at LGPS and open ended activities and opportunities are given to all pupils both when working independently and as a group. We understand that our school curriculum planning must allow pupils to gain a progressively deeper understanding and competency as they move through our school and we aim to do this through creative, enquiry based learning to allow children to develop an enthusiasm and passion for History.
Assessment and recording
We assess children’s work in History by making informal judgements as we observe them during each History lesson. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher marks the work and comments as necessary. Notes may be written on the short -term plans. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the expectations for that unit and the National Curriculum level of attainment; We use these grades (working towards, expected or greater depth) as a basis for assessing the progress of the child and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year. This information can be used to track children’s progress electronically using Otrack or the Rising Stars assessment grids to support our understanding.
The History subject leader keeps samples of children’s work in a portfolio. These demonstrate what the expected level of achievement is in History for each age group in the school.
There are sufficient resources for History teaching units in the school and where this is not possible the History subject leader will support in locateing resources or purchasing new were necessary. The library contains a supply of topic books and online software is available to support children’s individual research. We have access to a wide variety of interactive resources both on computers and Ipads to support children’s learning and inquisitive enquiry skills. Teacher’s do have a annual subscription to the Historical Association website, where there are resources and planning to support teaching in delivering fun and engaging History lessons.
Monitoring and review
Monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in History is the responsibility of the History subject leader, at Lincoln Gardens Primary School we will use Otrack statements and the subject progression maps to inform our planning and assess the children throughout the year. The work of the History subject leader also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of History, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The History subject leader gives the head teacher and governors an annual report in which she evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in the subject and indicates areas for further improvement. This forms the basis for the subject development plan. The History subject leader has specially allocated time in which to fulfil this role by reviewing samples of children’s work and visiting classes to observe teaching in the subject and through informal conversations with colleagues.
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