The study of history ignites children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, children understand how the past influences the present. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. Our History curriculum is designed to support and stimulate children’s natural curiosity and creativity; centred on evidence, facts and imagination. We have developed our curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive and meets the needs of all learners. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History; providing a broad and balanced curriculum ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills and for the children to study life in the past enabling them to think and act as historians. With a cross curricular approach to planning, pupils can link and consolidate their learning of historical topics and apply their understanding in other areas of the curriculum.
Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum that develops learning and acquisition which enables children to enquire, research and analyse in history. We aim to develop historical enquiry and a sense of chronology and curiosity. Wherever possible pupils are given opportunities to examine a variety of sources including artefacts, pictures and texts and to visit places of historic importance. Teachers focus on helping pupils to develop the skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, develop perspective and judgement and reflect and review events of the past thus deepening their understanding that historical events can be interpreted in different ways. As pupils progress through the school, they communicate and process their knowledge in an increasingly sophisticated way.
At Sheldwich, History is taught in topics throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning and acquire the skills and knowledge to become historians. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been organised to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers investigate the children’s prior learning by discussing ‘What they know and what they want to find out’ and this then informs a programme of study that is responsive to children’s interests. The children discuss the key vocabulary for that historical unit and record it in their books at the start of the Topic so that they can consistently refer to it. By the end of Year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.
At Sheldwich, we have designed a unique and truly personal curriculum aimed at the interests of our children and teaching staff. This curriculum enables us to design and plan lessons which are exciting, engaging and taught by teachers with excellent subject knowledge. Cross-curricular links are made where possible while ensuring that the lessons are subject-specific and focus on the concepts of History. The planning of History is aligned with the National Curriculum and the school’s History curriculum, with clear knowledge and skills-based learning objectives and subject-specific vocabulary.
Our historians will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities to further support and develop their understanding. Enrichment opportunities, such as inspirational visits, educational visits and events, provide our children with rich experiences and enhance teaching, learning and knowledge.
At Sheldwich Primary School:
In the EYFS - children use their own experiences, and the experience of our community, to learn that things change over time and to develop early historical skills. Children are given opportunities to talk about past and present events in their lives and in the lives of member of their families. They consider key changes in their own lives - bringing in baby photos and discussing the changes to their own bodies as they have grown. They then progress to thinking about changes in the world around us.
In KS1, History begins by looking at the children’s own personal history and introduces them to the idea of chronology and timelines.
In KS1, History will look at significant events and people who have shaped society, locally, nationally and globally.
In KS2, all children study aspects of local history, a British history topic and an ancient history topic.
Our medium term planning for all units will cover key historical concepts: Chronological understanding, Historical knowledge, Historical interpretation, Historical enquiry and organisation and communication.
We enable children to find out about the past from a range of primary and secondary sources, handling artefacts, making use of local area and visits to museums and sites of historical significance.
We develop skills of research and note taking and to present findings in a variety of ways such as in written, oral or pictorial form as well as using ICT.
Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as Maths, English, Outdoor Learning and Computing.
Teachers’ cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
Our History curriculum is high quality and ensures that children have a strong knowledge of historical events, a coherent understanding of chronology and an appreciation of the impact that history has had and continues to have on the world of today. Our children enjoy and love learning about history by gaining knowledge, understanding and skills, not just through learning in the classroom but also through educational visits and visitors and commemorating historic days throughout the year. Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, our children become passionate historians, who are inspired by the subject and are curious to find out more about the past and have a love of history that will remain with them and encourage them to undertake new life experiences for the rest of their lives.
Teachers are expected to mark each lesson and record children who have achieved particularly well, and those who require additional support. Teachers will assess the children’s progress in History on a termly basis, alongside their relevant learning outcomes from that terms’ focus, while formative assessments will be made on a continuous basis during History lessons, ensuring the progress of all pupils. The assessment of children in History is noted termly on the schoolwide ‘Foundation Assessment’ file and is reported to parents twice yearly through the ‘Mid-Year Report’ and ‘End of Year Report’.