Our history curriculum aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence.
We aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. We aim to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each year group, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of History.
We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries. In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, our curriculum aims to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.
In order to meet the aims of the National curriculum for History and in response to the Ofsted Research review into History, we have identified the following key strands:
Our history curriculum emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches, These strands are interwoven through all our History units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do.
Each of our history units focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. Children will develop their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time.
Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, clearly identified in Lower key stage 2 and revisited in Upper key stage 2 (see our Progression & sequencing document) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow.
We ensure our pupils progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.
We endeavour to ensure our history lessons are varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of an historical enquiry. In lessons, our pupils participate in activities involving both disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. We aim to develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.
We incorporate knowledge organisers for each unit to support our pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts, concepts and vocabulary.
The impact of our history curriculum is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities within lessons. Utilising Kapow resources, we plan for a “skill catcher” and “knowledge assessment” at the end of each unit to provide a summative assessment.
The impact of our History curriculum is that children will:
- Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.
- Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
- Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences.
- Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
- Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
- Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
- Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
- Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History.