History Curriculum Statement
Our History curriculum is rigorously sequenced so that our pupils’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills build over time. We have selected and designed our units carefully so that our curriculum includes diverse narratives and voices.
Within our classrooms, we follow rich and ambitious lines of enquiry by answering big questions such as How has modern day life been influenced by the Ancient Greeks? We teach pupils the knowledge they need in small steps to answer these challenging questions successfully. Studying history in this way inspires pupil’s curiosity, encourages them to ask critical questions and enables them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and that of the wider world. In our History curriculum, we have thought about key threads that run through the units of learning. These include invasion and settlement, legacy, societal structure, societal change, significant people and trade. By carefully mapping these themes across the units and revisiting them in different sequences of learning, we ensure pupil make links and gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, national and international history; and between short and long-term timescales.
In our EYFS, pupils begin to develop their sense of chronology by talking about their own life story and the life story of family members. They are supported to communicate in the past tense when talking about things that have happened. Our pupils explore images of the past and make comparisons with the present. In KS1 and KS2, history is taught as a discrete subject once each term. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the unit that will build on and develop the pupils’ knowledge and skills. In Key Stage 1, our curriculum is mapped to enable pupil to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will start to know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods.
As they progress through the key stage, they will begin to make comparisons and connections between people and events in the past. In Key Stage 2, pupil will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. This chronology, or sequence of events, will be referred to throughout KS2 so that pupils become secure in their understanding of important historical events and eras. It will also enable them to begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms such as ancient and civilisation. The explicit mapping and rigorous teaching of vocabulary ensures that pupils can gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ or ‘legacy’.
Carefully selected questions are chosen to best match each unit of knowledge and progress year on year. Opportunities to practise and embed knowledge are planned for so that they are revisited and refined over time. The knowledge and skills that pupils will develop throughout each history topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression.
The impact of our history curriculum can clearly be seen in the pupils’ books. The detailed unit overview outlines the main learning objectives – enquiry questions – that the pupils will explore and answer during their learning. The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the learning is planned for regularly to enable the pupils to see how their learning is progressing.
Pupils’ learning is assessed informally in each lesson and teachers plan responsively to next steps. At the end of a unit, pupil complete a short assessment based around the key questions. The Subject Leader, through pupil voice and monitoring, assesses the pupils’ learning throughout the year. At the end of the year, class teachers then use the pupils’ recorded work and assessment to make a judgement as to whether each pupil is working at the expected level.