History Curriculum Statement
The intention of the History Curriculum at St John Fisher RC Primary School is to help our children to gain a cohesive and progressive knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past, as well as that of the wider world. We aim for it to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and for them to understand the different periods of time in detail, as well as beginning to understand the effects of history on the present. We aim to develop curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links. We want to support children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to help children understand how people lived their lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of our time. Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum.
History is taught in half-termly blocks throughout the year, so that children can develop a deeper understanding and depth to their learning. Teachers know the key knowledge and skills of each topic and key objectives are clearly outlined for each year group in a progressive way to ensure knowledge, skills and understanding are built on and extended, year upon year.
By the end of year 6, children will be secure in drawing comparisons and making connections between different time periods and their own lives. They will also have a good sense of chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. Staff have looked closely at “threads” such as homes, transport, religious beliefs/customs so that children can make comparisons between different periods of time.
We aim to start each new term with a ‘hook’ for learning. Hooks provide engagement, excitement and a gateway into a new and exciting topic. Hooks can vary from: archaeological digs, being hands on with artefacts, WOW videos, visitors in school and many more. History is embedded throughout the curriculum using cross curricular outcomes, by creating strong links between the history curriculum and literacy lessons enables further contextual learning. History provides excellent opportunities to support all learning abilities through investigations, outdoor learning and analysing sources.
Knowledge organisers detail the key learning points of the topic with additional information or key vocabulary that will be covered within the unit. This also provides a useful tool that children can use throughout the topic to re-cap learning. Pre-learning and post-learning exercises are used in a variety of forms to asses prior and current knowledge. Pre-learning tasks, are used to recap the children’s previous topics that link or support the new topic to be taught. This helps to ensure progression and to build upon prior learning. At this point teachers will clearly explain how prior learning links to the new topic being covered. At the start of each lesson children will be given “flashback 4s” This is four questions that links to
prior learning either from a previous lesson within the current unit or prior learning from previous year groups. Post-learning tasks, often used at the end of a topic help to inform next steps and to assess knowledge, skills and understanding gained. Pre- and post-learning tasks,
as well as formative assessment opportunities within topics, determine children’s understanding and inform planning and support teacher assessment judgements within History. These opportunities take a variety of forms and can including debates, quizzes, leaflets, presentations, etc. Long-term and medium-term planning, learning intentions (‘Can I…?’ statements) and challenge questions develop a greater depth of understanding and critical thinking, as well as linking in other curriculum areas, where purposeful. Educational visits are a key part of our history curriculum and we aim to have two visits each year, these may be visitors to school or children going out of school for trips such as museum visits etc. They offer opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the normal classroom environment.
The impact of our History Curriculum will allow our children to have a clear understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today. The ‘Essential Knowledge, Skills and Understanding’ within the Learning Challenge Curriculum helps us guarantee that essential knowledge and skills are developed in line with National Curriculum requirements.
In order to ensure our aims have been met, we scrutinise topics through:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Sharing good practice in staff meetings
- We use our termly ‘St John Fisher Great knowledge Share’ where a representative group from each year group comes together with the curriculum coordinator to share their learning.
- To support teaching, staff access a range of resources and planning including History Association and Key stage History.
- Marking of written work in books against the schools marking policy.