At Stock C of E Primary School we have designed a history curriculum which aims to inspire our pupils to learn and know more about the past and to develop the skills they need to act and think like historians. We want our pupils to be able to see the value and purpose of history. We strive for each one of our pupils to develop their own metal map of the past. We want them to develop a respect for evidence with an awareness that the past is susceptible to different interpretations.
Our two-year rolling programme and topic based approach to learning affords our pupils the opportunity to explore a variety of time periods. Different topics for each phase (EYFS, KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) have been carefully selected to meet not only the requirements of the National Curriculum but areas of interest locally, ensuring learning is relevant to our pupils. Within each topic, specific learning objectives are identified which focus on:
- a) broadening and deepening each pupil’s knowledge base
- b) developing and honing each pupil’s skills and conceptual understanding
- c) consolidating previously learned vocabulary and introducing new topic-specific and historical terminology
A sequence of progressive lessons is then planned which build in content but always with the aim of linking new knowledge to that which pupils have already learned. Presentations, practical activities and tasks within these lessons have clearly defined learning objectives in terms of the focus of the subject knowledge and skills. These are communicated to pupils at the beginning of the lesson. Time is given at the end of each lesson for pupils to reflect on their learning. In order that pupils are challenged they are provided with opportunities to work as individuals, in pairs, small and large groups with and without the support of the teacher and are encouraged to discuss and debate their work. High quality resources such as primary records; secondary sources and artefacts are provided and pupils are taught how to evaluate these sources of evidence so that they can interpret the past with growing confidence. Frequently, enrichment activities such as a visit from a theatre company e.g. ‘History off the Page’ or trip e.g. ‘A Victorian Christmas’ at Gunpowder Mills are planned. These are used at the beginning of a topic – providing a great ‘hook’, in the middle to support and stimulate learning or at the end as a culmination of all that has been learned and achieved.
The progress that children make each year is measured not only by their deepening and broadening subject knowledge (the content) but also by the skills they develop and their conceptual understanding. It is our aim to ensure our pupils have, year on year on increasingly better understanding of why things happened, how things have changed, how we know something is true and why we have different interpretations of the past.