At St Aidan’s we want our children to love History and have secure knowledge of the units of work and periods of time they study. Our History curriculum offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. It aims to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip children for future learning. These key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units, are: Historical Interpretations; Historical Investigations; Chronological Understanding; Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past; Presenting, Organising and Communicating. Where possible links to the local area are made.
The coverage of recent history in KS1 such as ‘Toys’ and ‘Travel and Transport’ enables children to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory and their parents’ and grandparents’ memories. For KS1, we have designed a curriculum that can be covered chronologically in reverse to allow a full opportunity for children to really grasp the difficult concept of the passing of time.
The intent in lower KS2 is that children can work in chronological order from ancient history such as ‘Ancient Egypt’ and then progress onto more modern history such as ‘The Railways’.
Upper KS2 allows children to repeat and embed this sequence of chronology with a wider selection of ancient history such as ‘Early Islamic Civilisations’ and ‘Stone Age’ through to more modern history such as ‘World War II’ and ‘Leisure and Entertainment’. The repeat in KS2 of chronological order from ancient to modern allows for children to truly develop and embed a sense of time and how civilisations were interconnected. Children start to understand how some historical events occurred concurrently in different locations, e.g. Ancient Egypt and the Stone Age.
Through these lessons, we intend to inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.
In order for children to know more and remember more in each area of history studied, there is a structure to the lesson sequence whereby prior learning and feedback is always considered and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into lessons. However, this is not to say that this structure should be followed rigidly: it allows for this revision to become part of good practice and ultimately helps build a depth to children’s historical understanding. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lessons help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. We have suggested a specific series of lessons for each key stage, which will offer structure and narrative but are by no means to be used exclusively, rather to support planning and teachers can call on a range of schemes to help deliver this. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into lessons. This vocabulary is then included in display materials and additional resources to ensure that children are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this knowledge.
Children will have access to a Knowledge Organiser which shows them the content of what they will be studying over the unit of work - it contains key "I know..." statements that we want them to learn. These key facts form our assessment objectives in the subject, which is saved and tracked in our Insight Tracking system.
Each objective is assessed through questionning (which can be done at the start and end of every lesson), classwork and unit assessment tests and each child is rated for each objective covered on a 1-3 system. 1 - some evidence, but not yet secure; 2 - objective is secured; 3 - working at greater depth.
Each child is then given a score from 0 - 6 for the subject at the end of each term throughout the year. 0 - below age related expectations; 1 - emerging, 2 developing (working towards the age related expectation); 3 - progressing, 4 - secure (working at the age related expectation); 5 - exceeding, 6 exceeding with greater depth (working beyond the age related expectation). The aim is for every child to achieve 3 or 4 in every subject at the end of the year.
To ensure, as much as possible, that the knowledge delivered in lesson embeds with each child the class, with their teacher, will produce a “Floor Map’ book. This book shows examples of the work produced during the unit and more importantly a set of key questions and facts that need to be recovered at later dates in the years to ensure full understanding. These books are then passed through the school to produce a map of their learning through their entire school journey.
Impact is measured through the score system explained above. The impact of using our full range of resources, including display materials, will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of history. The learning environment across the school will be more consistent with historical technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will be improved through the use of history-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning. We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge, which they can remember and recall, with understanding, now and in the future.