"Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.”“ William Wordsworth.
The study of history has myriad benefits to children and adults alike. Through it, we learn how our present has been shaped; about bias and balance; to use critical thinking skills, empathy and argument.
Intent – What is our History vision?
At Broke Hall, we want the study of history to ignite children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and locality has developed over time, children understand how the past influences the present. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events, societies and people. At Broke Hall, our intent when teaching history is to stimulate the children’s curiosity, so that they ask questions, and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding, as historians. They will be helped to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between the different groups of people that lived before. The "Big Ideas" which underpin our History Curriculum are: Migration, Power, Legacy, Civilisation and Progress. These themes and ideas run through the topics and periods studied and have links with other subjects, such as Impact and Connection in Geography, and Influence, Community and Culture in the RE Curriculum
Implementation – How do we put this into action?
Our history curriculum aims to enable all children to develop an interest in history.
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. EYFS teachers encourage investigative behaviour, asking children to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions … in response to objects and stories about people or events. Use of language relating to time is used in daily routines and in conversations with children for example, ‘yesterday', ‘old', ‘past', ‘now' and ‘then'.
KS1 and KS2
In Key Stage 1 and 2, we teach the National Curriculum, to ensure a breadth of topics, supported by clear skills and knowledge progression. Skills, historical vocabulary and knowledge are repeated and built on year by year, to maximise learning for our children. All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge and understanding how the new topic links in with what children may have learnt before. In History, pupils at Broke Hall are encouraged to research, interpret and question evidence from sources, argue a point of view and recognise that history can be interpreted in different ways.
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. Through careful planning, each lesson builds on learning from the previous lesson. Teachers will always ask ‘What did we learn about X in our last lesson? Teachers will also ask, ‘How does this link with the previous periods of history we have learnt about?’ Children are regularly encouraged to ‘Think Back’ and ‘Connect’ to join their learning up.
At the start of each topic, children will review previous relevant learning and they will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a new topic. When concluding a topic, children will be able to add all the knowledge they have gained to their previous knowledge, like Velcro.
Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers at the start of each new topic. This will provide children with scaffolding, to support them in acquiring and retaining new facts, dates and vocabulary to their long-term memory. It will be used as a reference document throughout a topic.
In KS1, learning about changes over time, significant people and events, begins with ‘history within living memory’ starting from ‘now’ and moving back in time through the lives of living relatives. Then as children move through KS1, their history learning moves further back to history ‘beyond living memory’. Our KS2 history curriculum teaches British history in chronological order, to help children understand the British historical narrative. Children learn about significant civilisations that shaped the world we live in. They recognise that people lived concurrently in different parts of the world, during different historical periods and that many left lasting legacies. Our history curriculum encourages regular references to timelines from KS1 and considers how topics fit together. The same world timeline is used consistently throughout KS2, allowing children to see the overlaps between the people and periods studied.
We use artefacts when available, and we arrange local visits and specialist visitors to help bring history alive to our young learners, enhancing and enriching their learning experience and the history curriculum. Where there is local significance to a theme, period or person studied, we draw attention to this.
We feel it is important for history knowledge and skills to be taught discretely in history lessons, as well as incorporating history knowledge into other curriculum subjects such as English, Design and Technology, Music and Art.
Impact- How do we produce confident historians?
By the time the children at Broke Hall leave our school they should have developed:
- A secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and places from the historical periods covered.
- An understanding of historical chronology and an awareness that different groups of people lived at the same time, and at different times, throughout the world.
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate confidently in styles, appropriate to a range of audiences.
- The ability to evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views, using historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, discuss and evaluate the past and to question lines of enquiry.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- A desire to undertake research across a range of history topics.
At Broke Hall, ‘pupil voice’ shows that pupils are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in history, using subject specific vocabulary. Pupil voice also demonstrates that pupils enjoy history and are able to recall their learning over time, demonstrating the knowledge, skills and vocabulary they have acquired, linked to their history learning.
Pupil’s history work is of good quality and demonstrates that history is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group and is accessible for all abilities.