In history, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as historians. We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for history, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through history can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.
To be able to be a historian, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of the past. They will need to understand and use the language of history and apply these historical skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within History and across other subjects too.
To be a historian, children need support to build a temporal awareness and a developing sense of identity as they come to understand their place in the story of human development. As a school we recognise that engaging children and young people in investigating questions about people and events in the past helps them to better understand their lives today, the contested nature of knowledge and prepares them for the future as more informed citizens. Engaging our pupils with a relevant, exciting and challenging History curriculum which inspires curiosity and is appropriate for preparing them for an adult life in the 21st century is essential since it:
The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
The National Curriculum is the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each subject. The wider curriculum includes a number of vehicles to develop the whole child and includes:
These aspects are expanded further in our teaching and learning policy.
How we plan for progression in history at St Gregory’s:
The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within history and across other subjects too.
In key stage 1, history is a topic driver for one of the termly themes within the year. For example, in year 1 the children study the ‘Great Fire of London’ which then inspires the study of the text Toby and the Great Fire of London by Margaret Nash during their English learning.
In key stage 2, history is taught weekly for 2 of the 3 terms. The history topic will often become the driver for other subjects; inspiring class texts in English/guided reading and other links where appropriate. Links to locality have been made where appropriate and as a school we maintain strong relationships with the Wilson Museum who provide our children with museum boxes.
We recognise that foundations for becoming a historian are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Year Framework (especially Understanding the World) and to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:
Understanding the World
Communication and Language
Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum. To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.
History curriculum coverage
We adopt an enquiry led approach to history which enables our pupils to learn as young historians and to understand the kind of questions that historians ask of the world. Through enquiry our pupils not only build their substantive knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at disciplinary thinking, conceptual understanding and the use of specialised vocabulary and technical terms. We structure learning in History through big question led enquiries which are both in depth focused and also enable pupils to develop their chronological awareness of themes and issues over more extended periods of time. Our curriculum is therefore ‘knowledge rich’ rather than content heavy as we recognise that if we attempt to teach historical topics in their entirety, we will create a very shallow learning experience for our pupils. Consequently we adopt a policy of immersive learning in History that provides sufficient time and space for our pupils not only to acquire new knowledge and understanding but also to develop their appreciation of the importance of subject concepts.
Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding. For example
This document has been crafted to ensure that all National Curriculum objectives are taught to children at least once through out their time at St Gregory’s. Each unit has been carefully placed to be appropriate to their age and infitting with the progression of skills needed for successful achievement. This document is reviewed and agreed by staff regularly to ensure that the children are getting the best from their history curriculum.
History Progression of skills
The Skills Progression documents interrogate the skills, knowledge and techniques required in each phase, considering age appropriate development and ensures progression is enabled through careful and informed planning.
Yellow denotes KS1 focus, green LKS2 and blue, UKS2. While each phase will have lessons focussing on outcomes listed against the earlier phase as part of a build-up within the topic, to achieve expected standard for their age group, children must be exposed to the appropriate outcomes at least once within their current phase.
In addition to outcomes, historical skills are also mapped progressively through the key stages so that teachers ensure that children’s learning is constructively built upon in terms of both what they can do as well as the range and depth of resources they interrogate.
History Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in history planning. Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, building on prior knowledge.
These are the documents that are used to plan lessons in history.
Planning for history uses a standard format consistent across all foundation subjects. When planning for history teachers utilise the National Curriculum agreed objectives document, the Skills Progression document and the Vocabulary Progression document to craft engaging lessons. In addition to these we have a series of drivers that provide progression of application of history skills. These subject outcome driver words are used in WALTs for individual lessons (found in the Subject Outcomes document above).