Our History curriculum offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons to support teachers ensure they have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. It aims to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip pupils for future learning as well as enabling them to explore the foundations of life-long historians.
These key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units, are: Historical Investigations; Chronological Understanding; Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes within and beyond living memory; Researching, Presenting, Organising and Communicating findings.
The coverage of recent history in KS1 enables pupils to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory and their parents’ and grandparents’ memories. For KS1, we have designed a curriculum that is covered chronologically to allow a full opportunity for pupils to really grasp the difficult concept of the passing of time.
They should begin to use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time and know where the events studied fit within the chronological framework. Our pupils reasoning and understanding will enable them to identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. Pupils will have a developing understanding of historical enquiry.
Based on research of learning and cognition our curriculum is designed to ensure learning is built on over time in an organised and sequential way. In order for pupils to know more and remember more in each area of history studied, there is a structure to the lesson sequence whereby prior learning is always considered and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into lessons. However, this is not to say that this structure should be followed rigidly: it allows for this revision to become part of good practice and ultimately helps build a depth to pupil’s historical understanding.
Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help pupils build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. We have suggested a specific series of lessons for each year group, which will offer structure and narrative but are by no means to be used exclusively, rather to support planning. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each lesson. This vocabulary is then included in display materials and additional resources to ensure that children are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this knowledge. The curriculum is organised to address themes that are relevant to the local environment as well as being connected to other curriculum subjects.
The school membership of the Historical Association, alongside adult guides and accurate historical subject knowledge are always provided within lessons to allow the teacher and TA working in those lessons to feel confident and supported with the historical skills and knowledge that they are teaching. Through these lessons, we intend to inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.
The impact of using the full range of resources, including display materials, can be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of history. The learning environment across the school is more consistent with historical technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will be improved through the use of history-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning. We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge and understanding, now and in the future. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.