History at All Souls' CE
History Curriculum Rationale
At All Souls’ we are historians! We want our children to love history. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts. We want them to embody our Christian core values. We all embrace the school motto of: “we are a place to grow’ – this is both spiritually and academically. The history curriculum has been carefully designed so that our pupils develop their historical knowledge of Britain and its influence on and from the wider world. We want all our pupils to remember their history learning in our school, to cherish these experiences and embrace the opportunities they are presented with.
The history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our pupils to become independent and resilient.
We want to equip pupils with ambition beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the history National Curriculum and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. The curriculum is meticulously planned with the intention to address social disadvantage and ensure that all pupils - including those with SEND – have an opportunity to engage with a challenging curriculum and achieve success. Any gaps in pupils’ knowledge are quickly identified and addressed to ensure that pupils are supported to meet the ambitious intended end points of the curriculum in history. We have designed the curriculum as a school and therefore the curriculum is unique to our school and meets the needs of our pupils and our context.
The history curriculum is focused upon the development of substantive and disciplinary knowledge. History is progressively sequenced to ensure that pupils’ knowledge of chronology, and substantive concepts are built over time and ready them for their next steps in learning. This enables an understanding of different historical periods and the complexities of peoples’ lives in a range of societies. Through routes of enquiry, pupils learn the discipline of history and apply their knowledge and skills to think and work as an historian. Significant events, people, places and the interrelationships of these across time are studied to support the pupils’ building of knowledge of how historians have analysed the past and drawn conclusions. This supports pupils to appreciate the importance of valid historical practice and the ways in which the past has been interpreted to further develop our understanding of significant points in time that have shaped local, British and world history.
We want our pupils to use the vibrancy of our great town and wider city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing strong local contextual links where possible. For example, the curriculum offers a study of the life of a Victorian child working in a local mill, (which is located metres away from the school), we learn about ‘why’ children were used in the cotton industry and then use the learned disciplines to analyse the ‘how’ we know about this.
British Values and our core values are placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the history curriculum. Cultural capital development is addressed through museum visits, (such as a Staircase House visit during the Fire of London unit of work) online exploration, workshops in school and first-hand experiences. We enrich pupils’ time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities to engender an appreciation of human endeavour and achievement.
We effectively develop and invest in our teaching staff to ensure that they are fully equipped with expert subject knowledge in order to support the delivery of the exceptional history curriculum. Teaching is highly effective for all pupils. Teachers present the curriculum content clearly through composites and component parts supported by unit booklets, which break the unit knowledge, concepts and skills down for each lesson in each year group.
The curriculum is delivered through a subject specific approach, which supports pupils to develop the key concepts and knowledge of the history curriculum. Each lesson within a unit of work is carefully crafted and builds upon what has been previously taught from one year to the next.
Frequent audits of the history curriculum take place. Following the findings from these audits, the history curriculum is adapted to build upon the learning opportunities and assessment end points for each year group and ensures progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. The way history is taught follows a specific and consistent structure.
Pupils’ curiosity is inspired through the igniting of prior learning and the manner historical content is delivered. Pupils’ engage in the knowledge, skills and experiences involved in a unit and deepen their understanding to record their opinions, analyses and to review and revisit ideas. This process is replicated for each history unit. The way each discipline is taught is revisited in each phase, at a progressively deeper level.
History subject specific characteristics, which we expect the pupils to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in history and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- To gain a coherent knowledge and chronology of Britain’s past and the wider world
- To ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement about events in history
- To appreciate the complexities of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups of people as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time
- To know and understand the history of our islands as a coherent, chronological narrative from the earliest times to present day
- To know the significant aspects of ancient civilisations, and the expansion and dissolution of empires
- To develop an awareness of concepts such as: continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance and use them to make connections
- To understand methods of historical enquiry
- To understand connections between local, regional, national and international history
The teaching of the history curriculum is planned and delivered to support pupils to transfer key knowledge into their long-term memory and therefore improve the progress they make. Essential vocabulary is identified within each lesson and unit of work to ensure that our pupils can discuss and analyse the history content effectively.
Whilst delivering the curriculum, teachers are constantly checking to ensure that pupils are learning the necessary knowledge and identifying and addressing misunderstandings. Assessment is used as a tool to support pupil learning.
The history curriculum is research evidence informed in relation to the content, delivery and process of learning.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in history. Assessment informs learning to ensure that all pupils including disadvantage and those with SEND achieve highly and acquire the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Staff use assessment information to inform their short-term planning and address misconceptions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils. The end points for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down. This means that the essential knowledge, skills and concepts in history are progressive and build year on year.
Our well-constructed curriculum in history leads to pupils’ successful learning. This is evidenced in the outcomes within workbooks and display work produced. Pupils are well prepared for the next steps and stages of their learning due to the progressive and well-sequenced curriculum. As a result, pupils make excellent progress; they know more and remember more as they move through the history curriculum at All Souls’ CE Primary.
At All Souls' CE Primary School, we are
History programmes of study:
Key Stages 1 and 2
Purpose of study
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. 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.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets] or the content indicated as being ‘non-statutory’.
Subject content – Key stage 1
Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.
Pupils should be taught about:
- changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
- events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
- the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Subject Content – Key Stage 2
Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.
Pupils should be taught about:
- changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
- the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
- the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
- a local history stud
- a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
- the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300