Our Curriculum : History
History plays an important role at East Hunsbury Primary School and is fundamental to our mission of creating aspirational and knowledge–rich pupils.
"History, the study of the past, is all around us; we are continually making history through our thoughts, words and actions. History is personal and global; it is everyday life and momentous occasions. History is about people.
Through our study of the past, we can understand how our own world works. We can also understand how and why things happen to us. For example, had you ever wondered why the polar ice caps are melting? The answer partially lies in history. The Industrial Revolution caused the birth of industrial towns and factories, belching out smoke and pollution. It also caused the mechanisation of society, adding to the pollution. Could this partially explain the pollution problems that we face today? History is not just about the past!"
It is our intention that our history curriculum is aspirational, enabling and inclusive and supports children in understanding Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We intend that our history curriculum will enable children to:
- Understand history as a subject discipline and how what we learn from history can affect our own lives and the lives of others.
- Become curious about the past and be equipped to ask informed, perspective-led questions.
- Develop children’s mental timeline (schema) by cumulatively building pupils’ knowledge of periods and events.
- Think critically, compare, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.
- Understand the complexity of people’s lives and the process of change over time.
- Develop an understanding of the diverse societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and challenges of their time.
- Move to secondary school and beyond with a chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and world history.
- Note connections, contrasts and trends over time and will develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
- Learn through History and use this learning to influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
For further information, please refer to the NPAT History Narrative Document.
The Early Years
Our ambitious history curriculum begins in the Early Years where it is practical, playful and inclusive. It is taught with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small groups and from working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led and teacher-taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities when adults scaffold learning through skilful interactions and questioning; including independent exploration/play.
Through, Understanding of the World, children’s foundations of historical knowledge will be laid as they will learn to:
- Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family history
- Comment on images of familiar situations from the past
- Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past
- Talk about the lives and roles of people around them
- Know similarities and differences between things in the past and now. Drawing on their experiences and what they have read in class.
- Understand the past through settings, characters and events read in class and storytelling.
Building on the Early Years
Our curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure children obtain a solid understanding of key historical concepts and knowledge. This is a knowledge-rich history curriculum which entwines both substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Knowledge is given a high status and the aim is to empower our children and carefully build their understanding of the subject. Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary is taught within the unit and reinforced throughout the year.
The following high-dividend concepts have been identified as part of the NPAT history curriculum:
- Trade and
- Power (including monarchy).
These will form the ‘Big Ideas’ through which all history will be taught.
Teachers will make explicit reference to where children have met these concepts before in the curriculum. Local history has been planned as whole term units in alternate year groups; however, local history links have also been planned within units e.g. in Year Four children learn about an aspect or theme that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066. In the NPAT curriculum this is the Industrial Revolution (Victorians) and the local history link to the Boot and Shoe industry and canals.
The knowledge content is specified in detail and is taught to be remembered, not just encountered. Knowledge is sequenced and mapped deliberately and coherently so that beyond the knowledge specified for each unit there are vertical and horizontal links. These will promote the construction of a secure historical schema. There are also opportunities to make diagonal links to other disciplines which have been explicitly planned for.
Horizontal links will be explicitly made e.g. Year Three children learn about the impact of the Romans on Britain in Spring One, including the invasion, culture, the rebellion of the Celts and the legacy. When they learn about the Anglo-Saxons teachers will explicitly link the chronology, how the culture of the Anglo-Saxons was different to that of the Romans etc. Where there is legacy within a time period then this will be explored explicitly. If there is no real legacy, then this will also be explored.
Vertical links will be made where knowledge and understanding are built upon from previous history units. E.g. In Year 2, the Great Fire of London unit will build upon knowledge and understanding from the Year 2 unit, the Great Fire of Northampton; likewise, in Year 6, the Impact on British Culture unit will make direct references to the Ancient Egypt unit covered in Year 4 and the Ancient Greece unit covered in Year 5.
Diagonal links will be made, particularly where this is cross-curricular. e.g. links between History and Geography - such as The Romans (History) with Natural Disasters - Pompeii (Geography) and Ancient Egypt (History) with From Nene to Nile (Geography).
Where applicable, children will have encounter or participate in high quality visits or visitors to further appreciate the impact of History.
History is taught every half term on a weekly basis.
It is our ambition for all of our pupils to access the full history curriculum and quality first teaching enables this. Support for pupils with SEND or disadvantaged pupils is given by careful individual and/or group support to secure the knowledge they need to continue to access content in History.
By the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils will have a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and will have acquired the disciplinary skills of Historians being able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.
This will be assessed through a multi–faceted approach including:
- Skilful questioning lesson by lesson,
- High quality conversations by teachers during lessons addressing misconceptions,
- Weekly retrieval practices,
- Lesson quizzes,
- Appropriate writing outcomes and
- End of unit summative tasks such as double-page non-chronological reports including essays.
Evidence of learning will be recorded within the pupil’s books and teachers assess against the history learning outcomes (end of unit criteria checklist)
Leaders will monitor the quality and impact of the History Curriculum through book looks, pupil voice and assess which pupils know more and remember more.