History Curriculum

Download the History - Intent, Implementation, Impact document

Intent

At Jennett’s Park we have a vision to develop enquiring minds and we feel that history is an important vehicle to support children’s ability to experiment, investigate, take risks, challenge themselves and make informed choices. As a subject, history informs our children about the past and another way of life and supports them to think critically and to reflect and draw their own conclusions. Celebrating our historians reflections (whether individual and collaborative contributions at a group, class, phase and school level) helps children gain confidence and a true feeling of self-worth.

History inspires children and should be used to enrich a cross-curricular approach to engage and encourage children’s learning. The curriculum drivers of chronological understanding, range and depth of historical context, interpretations of history and historical enquiry highlights our desire to enable children to think as historians. We emphasise the importance of interpretation with people and events in the past, within a time and chronology using primary sources and historical artefacts to enrich and enthuse learners. Through gaining experience of the diversity of the human experience, children build on skills systematically as they move through the school.

History is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past and the people in it; it gives us a sense of identity, set within our social, political, cultural and economic relationships. History is an essential part in preparing children for living and working in the wider world around and outside Jennett’s Park and to academically, socially and spiritually learn from perceived strengths and weaknesses in the past. Pupils will consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people, continually reflecting on what this means to them. Our children see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society and the similarities that weave humans together. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.

In history, children find evidence, examine and analyse and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, systematically sift through evidence and argue for their point of view – skills that help prepare our life-long learners with real skills to use in the future. During their school journey, we use a range of information sources (both provided for the children and for children to be involved in their own research) and give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance and encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past or to stimulate and set the topic alight. Teachers creatively engage children to view the world from different perspectives and to develop an awareness of issues with the past, for example addressing gender or multicultural issues with questions that avoid assumptions and demands evidence for points of view to appreciate the social, political, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of societies.

Implementation

To support children find out about their personal history and role in society to develop a cultural heritage.

To make children aware of the achievements of people in the past.

To develop concepts of continuity and change.

To recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and give reasons for this.

To develop the ability to acquire evidence from historical sources and form judgements about their reliability and value.

To find out about the events, people and changes studied from an appropriate range of sources of information

To encourage children to appreciate the social, political, economic, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of societies.

To ask and answer questions, and to select and record information relevant to the focus of the enquiry.

To confidently present their findings and thoughts in a variety of ways.

To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development (historiography) in the wider world.

 

Chronological Understanding Range & depth of historical context Interpretations of history

 

Historical enquiry
Describing visuals

Sequencing

Timelines –understand and gain knowledge from, create own, use to distinguish comparisons

Historical dates and terms, e.g. AD, BC

‘Timeness of time’ – how different societal eras run in parallel-can children discuss this?

Present knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways

Language of time and the past

The difference between primary and secondary sources

Not all sources are created equally – ascertain value and importance of a source

Topic-specific themes, e.g. empire

Topic-specific terms, e.g. ‘long boat’

Identify key features or aspects of eras or people studied

Examine causes and effects of key events and people

Understanding that not everyone in the time studied will share the same experience

Empathy

Analyse similarities and differences

Make links between different areas studied

Compare

Consider why a source shares its information

Create nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did.

Compare events from different sources

Check accuracy of interpretations- fact or fiction and opinion

Confidently research topics, independently

Quality questioning to gather information

Use primary resources, magazines, books, personal accounts, the wider library and Internet for research.

Use evidence to build up a picture of a past event or individual

Choose relevant material to build a picture of life in the past

Create nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did or why an event or change occurred.

Direct independent investigations

Consider different ways to present findings

 

How to Implement the progression document and long term plan

Our Foundation Stage learners concentrate on personal histories and gain confidence in sharing, questioning and finding similarities and differences between experiences. They are shown how to question and compare. Our Key Stage One learners develop an awareness of key people and events at a local and British level deepening their understanding of time and the past and how this differs to the present chronologically. Children begin to gather information that personally interests them and can reason why something in the past occurred. Our Lower Key Stage Two learners further their ability to compare and contrast the experiences of different eras within British History and are guided to compare with a study of a historical context within the wider world. Here children are encouraged to draw on their knowledge and understanding of historical research modelled within younger year groups and to critically analyse the value of relevant sources themselves, evaluating why some sources are more useful to them, than others. Our Upper Key Stage Two learners make comparisons between people and events within the same era studied within British and non-European societies studied. Children end their Jennett’s Park education with the confidence and analytical ability to direct their investigations to reach nuanced opinions, reasoning why people in the past acted how they did and why events took place by comparing information from different sources and to share their conclusions sensitively and appropriately. These independent investigations showcase the enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation skills our historians build upon during their school experience.

History is often at the heart of our cross-curricular topics, though the explicit teaching of historical skills should not be confused with learning about history as context and a vehicle for other similar subjects, such as English. As a skills-based subject, our historians do need to be taught facts, key events and dates but require the opportunity of time to understand, research a variety of different primary and secondary sources in order to critically reflect and consider their own thoughts and opinions. When pondering their thoughts and sharing their newly-forming ideas and theories, teachers should guide and foster self-confidence and resilience as children become increasingly aware of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, compare and contrast, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw disparities, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses as well as dance, drama, debate, discussion and beyond. In showing dignity and respect, to truly encourage our children to become multi-cultural and an inclusive community, they must be given the tools to observe, practice and improve on their skills to accurately 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.

History is therefore present in many other lessons, but skills-based historical learning, based on the curriculum drivers – chronology, range and depth of historical context, interpretations of history and historical enquiry should be at the forefront of actual history lessons. Sometimes these lessons may take place frequently within a termly topic that is history-based, or may feature less frequently (for a set fixed period). When curriculum maps are produced, it is the responsibility of everyone involved in the year group (from phase leader, class teachers and history subject lead) to check that class teachers have adequately accounted for space and time to allow for children to creatively demonstrate their skills as a historian.

Regular, cyclical learning will ensure a true progression of skills and should be promoted at every turn, though we recognise the need to compartmentalise some aspects of the history curriculum without our busy timetables to build upon prior knowledge and understanding and therefore access and develop long-term memory across the term, year, and phase and even longer school journey. This will continue to benefit children’s ability to make connections within their learning, both skills- and context- wise and therefore give our historians every chance to truly flourish and achieve.

Impact

We encourage our children to be a part of the planning and to have the chance to direct their historical learning. Class teachers should aim to plot out the overall thematic sub-topics that a class will examine but the foci and directions of a topic should move with the class’ ideas, interests and self-directed study - age-appropriately. Class teachers will plan and deliver ‘hook’ lessons to share the avenues of exploration on offer or as a gateway to what could be examined further. In this way, pupils are their own curriculum-drivers and choose to manage their own discovery – their range and depth of context may differ to another group, but be shared collaboratively after personal research and enquiry. Different conclusions will be drawn and children will sensitively and maturely acknowledge other schools of thought, theories and personal musings. When children have control and a voice over their learning, fires are ignited. Passionate, personalised learning is what we strive for at Jennett’s Park and history is the perfect way to support pupil voice to deliver what they want to learn; Ownership of learning helps invest pupils into their learning and effective teaching guides the development of historical skills, rather than a list of historical contexts. Historical context and knowledge is a part of our curriculum but this skills- and enquiry-based approach helps develop multidisciplinary abilities needed for children’s next steps in education and beyond to the wider world of work: We want our historians to discuss, compare, discern, proficiently gather relevant materials information and create nuanced distinctions and opinions as an individual and as a part of a group or class. Historians should not only be given a voice in the planning and delivery of their history lessons, but also the way in which their learning is acknowledged and celebrated. If pupil voice is truly embedded the confidence and resilience of learners should be high. The way children articulate their reflections should be in the context of a supportive, open-minded environment that recognises the value every child brings to the setting. The impact of a curriculum that develops pupil’s independent thought should empower children greatly into confident and tenacious historians who are inspired. Enriching lessons with variety will not only keeps history engaging and exciting but it allows for skills-based learning, rather than solely Literacy-based learning. Skills are embedded cyclically and really do go over and build upon previous skills in lower year groups to ensure full understanding, application and independence at each level. Long-term plans are succinct and open-ended to allow for learning to be broad and follow children’s interests whilst continually revising skills allows for deepened understanding and practice. Progress is seen in the engagement and well-being of pupils within a history lesson and beyond, as well as a true, marked progression of these reoccurring skills.

Download the History Progression of Skills - Long-term Outcomes