At Holywell, 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.
Our aim is that, through the teaching of history, we stimulate all children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, in order to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. This enables our children to learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain.
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 will also ensure our children understand how Britain developed as a society, contributing to their understanding of their country of residence.
Furthermore, our children will learn about aspects of local, British and Ancient history. This wider awareness leads to the children having some knowledge of historical development in the wider world. We believe that by allowing the children to understand the importance and enjoyment of history through different opportunities, they will become enthused learners in history.
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science – that learning is most effective with spaced repetition and that retrieval of previously learned content is frequently and regular to increase both storage and retrieval strength.
We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the history National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
In history at our school, we will also give children opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation and analysis.
Teachers use the National Curriculum, Ventrus Curriculum Approach and Chris Quigley Companions as a basis for planning. Within this, much of our teaching and learning for history is linked to other subjects where appropriate but may also be taught discretely.
- We have developed a progression of skills with each year group, which enables pupils to build on and develop their skills each year.
- In KS1, history begins by looking at the children’s own personal history and introduces them to the idea of chronology and timelines.
- In KS1, history will look at significant events and people who have shaped society, locally, nationally and globally.
- In KS2, each year group studies aspects of local history, a British history topic and an ancient history topic.
- In KS2, UK history is taught chronologically to allow children to confidently place each time period. This allows pupils to consistently build on previous knowledge and learning by placing previously taught history topics on a timeline.
- 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.
- Medium term planning for all units will cover key historical concepts: Chronological understanding, Historical knowledge, Historical interpretation, Historical enquiry and organisation and communication.
- 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.
- Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as maths, writing and computing.
- Educational, immersive displays that answer key questions help to create a rich learning environment for each history focus.
- In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’ there are regular opportunities to review the learning taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
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'.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills.
We ensure that children who are achieving well, as well as those who need additional support, are identified, and additional provision and strategies are planned in and discussed with class teachers.
Ongoing assessments take place throughout the year. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately.
We work to improve staff knowledge and confidence, leading to a stronger profile in Art and Design and raised pupil achievement.
Our history curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work.