Our Learning

History

History Curriculum

Intent

Our history curriculum ensures that pupils:

  • Develop a historic knowledge of chronology within which pupils can organise their understanding of the past.
  • Discover links and connections between the history that they learn and the wider community and locality.
  • Develop an understanding of their place in the world; a sense of who they are locally, nationally and globally.
  • Develop their knowledge and explanations of change and continuity over time in Britain and other societies and epochs.
  • Differentiate between evidence source types and explain how interpretations in History may differ.
  • Enables children to enquire, research and analyse. Becoming increasingly critical and analytical thinkers.

At St Mary’s, we inspire children to develop an interest in the past, arousing their curiosity and motivation to learn more at school and beyond. Our ‘We are Historians’ curriculum promotes curiosity and fascination. Throughout the programmes of study, the children acquire and develop the key knowledge and skills that have been identified within each unit and across each year group. These include engaging activities, trips and visitors that give all pupils an opportunity to learn about the past. Cross-curricular opportunities are also identified, mapped and planned to ensure contextual relevance and progression. Children are immersed in and inspired by history, in order for children to feel like a historian with a well-rounded knowledge and respect for the world around them and their own heritage. A love of history is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a balanced history curriculum, leading to every child viewing themselves as a successful ‘historian’.

Implementation

Teachers have a motivated and ambitious approach to history lessons within their classrooms and demonstrate high aspirations for all pupils. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of history involves the following;

  • History taught in topic blocks. This ensures clear knowledge and skills progression and coverage of the National Curriculum. Topics are planned to provide a clear and consistent sequence of learning where children revisit historical knowledge and skills. Teachersencourage children to make connections with previous learning by regularly reviewing previouslearning and vocabulary from recent and previous topics. So children will know more, remember more and understand more.
  • Curiosity is encouraged within the classroom. Teachers effectively use historical artefacts and sources of evidence to enrich learning and encourage pupil engagement. Teachers also utilise opportunities outside the classroom and within the local community to help bring alive learning.
  • Teachers plan and create engaging, cross-curricular lessons involving high quality resources, artefacts where appropriate and content specific vocabulary. Teachers hold regular end of unit quizzes to aid retention of knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
  • We build upon knowledge and skill development of previous years. As pupil’s knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods covered increases, they become more proficient in thinking critically.
  • Teachers encourage pupils to enquire and think critically, question and challenge sources, opinions and information.
  • For each medium-term plan, a key inspirational figure and career is identified in order to promote connections with real life opportunities and events.
  • At the end of each topic, classes produce a collaborative ‘Show What We Know’ display or presentation. Parents and carers are invited to view this (either by coming into school or through our Virtual Gallery on the website).

Impact

The enriched and cross-curricular approach we take at St Mary’s results in active, engaged and motivated learners of history. Our curriculum provides pupils with a secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods covered. They will embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake research. Pupils will develop a respect for evidence and the ability to think critically, question and challenge sources in order to make informed and balanced judgements. Pupil participation in high-quality trips, visits and engagement with the local community enables them to fully appreciate the impact of history.

Through our History modules, pupils will have developed an increased awareness of historical events and how they have shaped the world that they currently live in. Pupils learn the possibilities for careers in history, as a result of our community links and studies of inspirational historians. Through learning about a variety of different historians from a range of backgrounds, all children feel they too are capable of being a historian with sound historic knowledge and skills.