The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of history through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. This aspect is about how children find out about past and present events in their own lives, their families and other people they know. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of change over time and are given opportunities to differentiate between past and present by observing routines throughout the day, growing plants, observing the passing of seasons and time and looking at photographs of their life and of others. Practitioners encourage investigative behaviour and raise questions such as, ‘What do you think?'; ‘Tell me more about?'; 'What will happen if..?'; ‘What else could we try?'; ‘What could it be used for?' and ‘How might it work?' Use of language relating to time is used in daily routines and conversations with children for example, ‘yesterday', ‘old', ‘past', ‘now' and ‘then'.
History is all around us. The study of history ignites children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, children understand how the past influences the present. We aim to make all children aware of the actions of important people in history and enable children to know about significant events in British history, whilst appreciating how things have changed over time. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. At John Blow Primary School, our intent, when teaching history, is to stimulate the children’s curiosity in order for them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. History is learning about and from the past by studying people, places and events through primary and secondary sources.
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear objectives and knowledge progression. This ensures that objectives, skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. It is important that the children develop progressive skills of a historian throughout their time at John Blow Primary School and do not just learn a series of facts about the past. In history, pupils at John Blow Primary School, find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusion. To do this successfully, as historians, they need to be able to research, interpret evidence, including primary and secondary sources, and have the necessary skills to argue for their point of view; skill that will help them in their adult life.
At John Blow Primary School: •
Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth.
• We have developed a progression of objectives, with each year group, which enables pupils to build on and develop their skills each year. This is supported with specific vocabulary and objectives for each topic.
• 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 topics as well as previous lessons.
• At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic. Children complete a web of knowledge at the start and end of topics. Learning can also be reviewed through informal quizzes.
• To support teaching, staff access a range of resources and planning including The History Association, Plan Bee, relevant texts, topic boxes and Grammarsaurus.
• Medium term planning for units will cover key historical concepts: chronological understanding, historical knowledge, historical interpretation, historical enquiry and organisation and communication. Medium term planning will also highlight previous learning and links with the National Curriculum.
• Children are given opportunities, where possible, to study artefacts leading to enquiry, investigation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and presentation.
• We plan for effective use of educational visits and visitors, to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experience and the History curriculum.
• Teachers use highly effective Assessment for Learning at different points in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
• Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intentions, with misconceptions addressed within it.
• Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the history curriculum.
• Pupils are regularly given the opportunity for self or peer assessment, which will then be used to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson.
• Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as maths, writing and computing.
• Our Assessment Tracker (EAZMAG) allows us to use data to inform future practice.
By the time the children leave our school they should have developed: A secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods covered. The ability to think critically about history and communicate confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences. The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources. The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, forming and refining questions and lines of enquiry. A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways. A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgements. A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.