History is alive and all around us - a living, breathing subject. Who we are today is because of what has gone before!
At Gosbecks Primary School we want history to ignite pupil’s curiosity about local, national and global history to encourage them to understand the diversity of the human experience. A genuine interest and passion for history is nurtured through the spirit of enquiry; making connections between the past, the present and challenging existing narratives. History encourages the acquisition of both substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge such as causation, change and continuity, similarity and difference, and historical significance.
Topics are informed by the scope of the National Curriculum 2014, appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about as well as the context of the local area. The curriculum at Gosbecks aims to ensure that:
- The history curriculum at Gosbecks is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.
- Curriculum content is knowledge and vocabulary rich, in a sequenced order, allowing children to develop their understanding of abstract concepts as they move through school.
- Important substantive concepts are identified, and pupils build their knowledge of these over time.
- The sequence of study gives pupils the opportunity to develop a chronological framework.
- Children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past and prepares them for their studies in KS3.
- Children can communicate their knowledge in a variety of ways using appropriate vocabulary.
- Children can confidently explore a range of sources of information.
- Throughout their learning, children develop and apply disciplinary knowledge by investigating the past and how it influences the present.
- Curriculum content helps learners 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.
History begins in EYFS developing vocabulary and the beginnings of a framework to allow children to begin to place knowledge on a timeline and therefore help them to prepare for KS1.
At Gosbecks Primary School, history is taught termly throughout the year, so that children achieve depth of knowledge and understanding in their learning. The key knowledge is mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school . As well as disciplinary knowledge, teachers identify ‘core’ content (knowledge planners) which they want pupils to know and remember from particular topics.
At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years), referring to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. They revisit and secure prior knowledge to enable the children to build on this knowledge using the KWL strategy (What I Know, What I would like to know and what I have learnt).
Teacher’s break down the curriculum into smaller chunks of learning to support the pupils to know and remember more history content and more about the ways that historians analyse the past. Where appropriate we use texts, historical artefacts, visitors, workshops and visits to excite and intrigue our children to find out more about events and people from the past. Reading opportunities help children to learn more about the subject. We aim to give our children a deep understanding of topics and concepts by carefully planning resources and teaching activities, considering the outcomes that we hope to achieve. Teachers’ scaffold activities where necessary, ensuring an appropriate level of challenge, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
With our knowledge-rich approach, there is a strong emphasis on our local area. The school’s local area is fully utilised, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest, with learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. This supports the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills e.g. Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum, Gosbecks Archaeological Park
Pupils are expected to produce writing using the knowledge that they have learnt. This writing is developed so that by the end of KS2 pupils are given opportunities to write in subject-specific forms such as historical arguments or causal narratives.
Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. Questioning, quizzes and other quick recall activities are planned so that teachers can assess children’s knowledge. Lessons are planned and adapted, if necessary, so that there is repetition and consolidation of key content to secure it in their long-term memories. Teachers address misconceptions during lessons to avoid further confusion.
The subject leaders monitor their subject and the children’s outcomes by looking in books, observing lessons and gathering perceptions from teachers and pupils. This ensures that they can identify consistent high standards across the history curriculum. They take part in professional development and support other teachers, when needed, by identifying and facilitating training, or informally by supporting with pedagogy in the classroom.
By the end of year 6 children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They understand some periods of world history and the impact of these on the world today, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece, the Egyptians, and the Maya. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. They will have learnt about the range of sources of evidence historians use, the types of questions they ask and how this helps them to form judgements.
The impact of this is that children at Gosbecks are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the secondary curriculum and for life as an adult and citizen of Great Britain.