At Blair Peach Primary School, we want our children to enjoy history. Through the teaching of History, we aim to stimulate all children’s interest and understanding about the past. Our children learn about aspects of local history in order to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on the historical heritage of the area in which they live. They learn about aspects of British History to ensure they understand how Britain has evolved over time, contributing to their understanding of their country of residence. They learn about world history to give them a wider awareness and knowledge of historical developments in the wider world in which they live.
We believe that by enabling the children to understand the importance of History and how it has contributed to the present day; they will also get a sense of how we can learn from the past to shape the future.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is sequentially planned throughout the whole school.
History is taught in every year group, at least once a week. Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth. The History curriculum is designed using aspects of The Chris Quigly Companion. Before the start of each new topic, children recap on what a Historian is (what they do and the skills they use) in order to reflect the idea that they too will be exploring the past, as if they are a historian.
In KS1, History involves looking at the children’s own personal history and introduces them to the idea of chronology and timelines. Also, in KS1 History, children learn about significant events and people who have shaped society, on a local, national or global scale.
In KS2, each year group studies aspects of local history and British history. Years 4, 5 and 6 also study world history – through an ancient history topic. UK history is taught chronologically to enable children to place each time period on a timeline. This allows pupils to consistently build on previous knowledge and learning in sequence. In order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, there are regular opportunities to review the learning that has taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic. Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each topic which details some key information, dates and vocabulary. This is used to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and is used as a reference document.
All units will cover key historical concepts: investigate and interpret the past; understand chronology; build an overview of world history and communicate historically).
Children are given opportunities to study artefacts and go on educational visits, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experience and the History curriculum. Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to answer the key question and mini plenaries, at different points in each lesson, ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed. Differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the History curriculum and pupils are regularly given the opportunity for Self or Peer Assessment.
Displays that answer key questions help to create a rich learning environment for the History focus.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of History through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. The aim is to begin to develop a sense of chronology and an understanding of key vocabulary linked to the passing of time, for example, ‘yesterday', ‘old', ‘past', ‘now' and ‘then'.
In line with EYFS curriculum, the children are encouraged to talk about themselves and how they have changed over time. They share stories, handle artefacts and look at pictures to identify similarities and differences and begin to talk about changes. They are encouraged to ask older people, particularly their families, about the past and are introduced to other cultures.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. We have developed a progression of skills with each year group, which enables pupils to build on and develop their skills each year. Children will therefore be expected to leave Blair Peach reaching at least age-related expectations for History. Our History curriculum will also encourage pupils to be enthusiastic history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work. We want this enthusiasm to lead them into selecting a career in the historian field: archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts etc.