History is about real people who lived, and real events from the past. History is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past; it gives us a sense of identity, set within our social, political, cultural and economic relationships.
History fires the children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and
plays an essential part in preparing us for living and working in the contemporary world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, 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. They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
In history, children find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are valued in adult life.
The intent of our History curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. Throughout their journey, the children will:
- Increase and develop their historical skills, concepts, knowledge and attitudes.
- Increase their understanding of the present in the context of the past.
- Develop and use their skills in enquiry, analysis, evaluation, and argument.
- Develop their interest in the past, arousing their curiosity and motivation to learn.
- Develop a sense of identity through learning about the past.
Our Aims and Objectives
Our aims and objectives are:
- to instil in the children a curiosity and understanding of events, places and people in a variety of times and environments.
- to develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations.
- to understand the values of our society.
- to learn about the major issues and events in the history of our own country and of the world and how these events may have influenced one another.
- to develop a knowledge of chronology within which the children can organise their understanding of the past.
- to understand how the past was different from the present and that people of other times and places may have had different values and attitudes from ours.
- to understand the nature of evidence through the process of enquiry and by developing the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source materials.
- to distinguish between historical facts and the interpretation of those facts.
- to understand that events have a multiplicity of causes and that historical explanation is provisional, debatable and sometimes controversial.
Teaching and learning in History
Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in history. History is taught through two clear units and meets the requirements of the National Curriculum. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our history lessons and believe children learn best when:
- They have access to, and are able to handle artefacts
- They go on visits to museums and places of interest
- They have access to and are able to use secondary sources such as books, photographs and ICT
- Visitors talk about personal experiences of the past
- They listen to and interact with stories from the past
- They undertake fieldwork by interviewing family and older friends about changes in their own and other people’s lives
- They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask as well as answer historical questions.
History is taught as an integral part of the topic work through child-initiated and adult led activities. The children have the opportunity to find out about past and present events in their own lives, and those of their families and other people they know. History makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as looking at pictures of famous people in history or discovering the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives.
Key Stage One
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.
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.
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Key Stage Two
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.
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 study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066.
- The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of Ancient Egypt.
- 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 : early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900.