The National Curriculum for History states: 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.
At Castor, history lessons enable the children to take part in a broad range of activities whilst they become familiar with resources and key vocabulary, continually building upon and developing skills. This is taught via a rich and varied curriculum and children are given the opportunity to ask questions around their learning and carry out research to help answer these. Where possible, we allow strong cross-curricular links with, for example, the texts used in English and links with Art and Science to ensure the children’s learning is embedded within a theme. In EYFS, a key element of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World,’ is for children to begin to discover the world around them and develop their understanding of other people and how they can be different from them. In KS1, children build upon this initial knowledge of the world and begin to understand the challenges and changes in recent times. In KS2, history is taught chronologically, beginning with The Ancient Egyptians and concluding in year 6 with the Victorians and World War 2. By teaching from ancient to modern, allows children to truly develop and embed a sense of time and understand how civilisations were interconnected.
Teachers plan lessons for their class using this knowledge and our progression of knowledge and skills document. Throughout teaching, staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. There is a strong focus on the use of resources used within lessons, with each class within the school having access to a range of resources to deepen their understanding within different areas of the History curriculum. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the classroom. At Castor, the children have many opportunities to experience history on educational visits; this includes visits to local museums and visitors into school. Both are critical for an enjoyable, hands on and therefore memorable approach to our children’s learning.
Within history, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning, allowing children to leave us with a detailed knowledge and breadth of skills across this area of the curriculum. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school. Our history curriculum is of high quality, well-thought-out and planned to demonstrate progression across the year groups. We focus on the development of knowledge and skills and this is measured using a variety of methods which include: assessing children’s knowledge before and after the unit is taught, summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning, images and videos of the children’s practical learning, pupil voice, learning walks and marking of written work in books. The moderation of pupil’s books allows for dialogue between teachers to discuss their class’ work.