Our history curriculum develops a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past and how it has affected the modern day. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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. Children develop skills such as chronological understanding, evaluating evidence and comparing life in the different periods.
At Snapethorpe, history is taught within our Curriculum Theme Days (2 full days of learning for each topic) using the national curriculum objectives in chronological order. As a school, we have ensured each area of focus is broken down into year group specific expectations allowing the children to develop new knowledge and skills and then build on these as they progress through the year groups. Knowledge organisers have been produced for each topic which outline the ‘sticky knowledge’ that children need to learn alongside key vocabulary. At the end of a unit of work, children complete a topic quiz to help monitor their learning and their understanding of the knowledge that has been taught. Assessments are also completed by the class teachers so that progress of different groups of children can be monitored and support put in place where needed.
Children’s historical learning in Key Stage One starts with the familiar: toys and changes within living memory. As children’s learning travels further back in time, they learn about a key individual from the local area, Charles Waterton. Their learning about Charles Waterton is enhanced with a trip to the Charles Waterton Museum. In Year 2, children compare their own lives to that of children in the past. Their historical learning also moves further afield to Kenya, learning about a key individual outside of the UK, Wangari Maathai.
In Key Stage Two, children learn the history of Britain in chronological order, as well as studying ancient civilisations and local history. Children start by learning about prehistoric Britain in Year 3, Roman Britain in Year 4, the Anglo Saxon and Viking invasion of Britain in Year 5 and concluding with British history beyond 1066 in Year 6 where they study WW2. This study is complemented with a local history unit about coal mining, including a trip to the National Coal Mining Museum, and studies of the ancient civilisations of the Egyptians, Greeks and Benin. Children express their learning in a variety of ways, including writing, discussion, drama and art.
Throughout the History units planned and taught for at Snapethorpe, other subjects are also woven through where appropriate such as art and design, design and technology, cooking and nutrition and computing. Within the history units, we try and provide the children with visits and visitors to allow their knowledge and skills to be extended. These visit and visitors are sometimes used to hook the children into their theme, during the theme to develop knowledge or at the end of the theme apply their knowledge. The topics children study offer scope to also use a variety of historical resources which are held within school or accessed from local historical providers. Key technical vocabulary is identified for each unit, allowing children to build a rich bank of historical language.
Due to COVID, there is limited data about the impact of History teaching in 2020-21. The Curriculum Lead in school monitored books for coverage and learning. An end of year curriculum quiz was completed in each year group, but results were not all received to be analysed.
In the 2021 – 22 academic year, children’s progress will be assessed using teacher judgements and curriculum quizzes. During monitoring, we will be hoping for progress in quiz scores, standards of work produced and the ability of the children to talk about their current learning and make links with what they have covered in previous years. In addition to this, we hope that lesson observations and books show a good level of subject knowledge, differentiation to allow all children to make progress and embed the required sticky knowledge and the use of metacognitive approaches. Work will show a range of topics being covered across school with activities that allow children to develop enquiring minds and offer opportunities for historical questioning and critical thinking skills.
Within the History curriculum we also ensure that the knowledge is progressive and have identified key information that the children will know at the end of each area of learning.