“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
Our aim is that, through the teaching of history, we will excite children’s interests and understanding about the lives of people who lived in the past as well as understanding how past events have impacted upon and changed our lives today.
We feel it is necessary to consistently develop a sense of chronology. This will allow children to not only discover what shaped us as a nation but what was happening in other parts of the world at the same time.
Our priority is to help children develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage and the heritage of others. Exploring their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain will encourage the children to be tolerant, open minded and informed.
We aim to make children aware of historical figures and to know about significant events in British history and the wider world (British and Ancient), appreciating how things have changed over time. We want to ensure that the children know how Britain developed as a society.
Through the subject we will encourage the children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. It will allow them to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
At St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, we want all of our children to be historians. Our aim is for our curriculum (with bespoke local elements) to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Our carefully selected units of enquiry will be enhanced and enriched by tasks that enthuse and engage our learners. We want to foster a love of learning about the past by offering a range of opportunities to explore different periods of time.
- History is taught in every year group, half termly.
- Units allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills.
- Our progression of skills document (see below) demonstrates how our children build on and develop their skills each year.
- In KS1, history begins by looking at units we have selected that meet the needs and interests of our children
- Timelines and sequencing are an integral part of our units and build a chronological framework over time.
- In KS1 history explores significant events and people who have shaped society, locally, nationally, and globally. Our significant national person is Walter Tull. In KS2 children study aspects of Local History and an ancient history unit.
- In KS2, we encourage children to place their units chronologically on a timeline to allow them to appreciate the relationship between each time period.
- In order to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, there are regular opportunities to review the learning that has taken place in previous units.
- At the start of each unit children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current period/ place/person.
- Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each unit which details some key information, dates, and vocabulary. This is not used as an assessment tool, but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge, and is used as a reference document.
- Each unit has sufficient subject knowledge to aid teacher confidence when being delivered.
- Questionnaires and discussions with the staff will highlight if CPD and standardisation opportunities are needed.
- To support teaching, staff access a range of resources.
- Effective use of educational visits is encouraged, and visitors are planned, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences.
- Misconceptions are addressed.
- All unit plans will cover the key historical concepts of:
- Chronological understanding
- Historical knowledge
- Historical interpretation
- Historical enquiry
- Organisation and communication.
- Children are given opportunities, if the unit allows, to explore artefacts.
- Using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the history curriculum.
- Children are regularly given the opportunity for Self or Peer Assessment.
- Cross-curricular links are signposted as appropriate, particularly with Geography.
- Educational, immersive displays that answer key questions help to create a rich learning environment for each particular focus.
- History in our EYFS is an integral and important part of our chosen history curriculum.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of history through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. Six units written in the same way as the Key Stage One and Two units, allow for a smooth transition to KS1.
The New EYFS Framework 2021 and Development Matters have been used to draw out the specific History (and Geography elements). Children learn about the past and present events in their own lives, that of their families and other significant people. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of change over time. They consider significant people and special places, celebrations, and what it means to be a young historian. Children are encouraged to consider enquiry questions such as ‘What do you think?’, ‘Tell me more about?’, ‘Why did it happen?’, ‘Use of historical vocabulary and language relating to time is used in daily routines and conversations regularly, preparing children for the challenges in KS1.
The impact of our curriculum on the children’s progress will be evaluated through five key areas of assessment: Chronological understanding; Historical Knowledge; Historical Interpretation; Historical Enquiry; and Organising and Communication.
Children will leave St. Gerard’s with a rich understanding and love for History. The children will have developed skills they can use for life, and an understanding of how to be a good and responsible citizen.
They will have a significant knowledge of how people’s lives have shaped our nation, and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. They will be able to make their own judgements, based on the careful scrutiny of evidence from a variety of sources and be able to ask intelligent questions and make informed interpretations of the past.