“In our history lessons, we aim to inspire and ignite pupils’ curiosity of the history of the world, by equipping them to be critical thinkers who understand how societies and people’s lives have changed over time and the lasting impact these have had on the world today.”
Mrs Ingrams (History Lead)
At St Botolph’s, pupils will develop an appreciation and understanding of the past by evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources. They will learn to clearly explain how these sources give us an insight about how people around the world used to live and how these interpretations may differ. Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day. High-quality teaching of our history curriculum means pupils will develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied. Our history curriculum aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and develop their understanding of key events. Children will ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We endeavour to teach pupils to understand: the complexity of people’s lives, including those of the present; the process of change and the diversity of societies and beliefs, whilst celebrating these differences.
This curriculum has been designed to cover the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. It ensures pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on. Organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Chronological Understanding; Historical Understanding; Historical Enquiry; Interpretations of History; Organisation and Communication are all mapped out to ensure pupils build on secure prior knowledge. It also ensures appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about.
The coverage of recent history in KS1 enables children to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory, their parents’ and grandparents’ memories. The curriculum is covered chronologically in reverse to allow children to grasp the difficult concept of the passing of time. In lower KS2, children work in chronological order from ancient history to more modern history. Upper KS2 content allows children to repeat and embed this sequence of chronology with a wider selection of ancient history. Pupils embed a sense of time and how civilisations were interconnected. They will also understand how some historical events occurred concurrently in different locations, e.g. Ancient Egypt and the Stone Age.
History is taught in blocks (alternating with Geography), so children achieve depth in their learning. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics learned. Opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding ensuring children develop a deeper understanding of each area of history and build on prior knowledge alongside learning new skills. Teachers model subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow pupils to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
At St Botolph’s we are ambitious in our coverage of history and sequential teaching of core skills and concepts. Motivating learning through the variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom, including, exciting learning, trips, visitors, the use of artefacts, drama and stories to create memorable learning opportunities. Through these lessons and opportunities, we inspire pupils to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.
Our history curriculum supports teachers to feel confident with the historical skills and knowledge that they are teaching. The constant checking of pupils’ understanding, key questioning built into lessons, effective use of feedback marking, retrieval activities and low-stakes quizzes supports teacher assessment of the pupils’ historical knowledge and skills.
Pupils at St Botolph’s are enthusiastic about history and keen to learn about the past. This is shown through work displayed around the school, excitement in lessons, questions they ask and through pupil voice which shows that they are confident and able to articulate their learning using appropriate language. Children have a secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from historical periods and are able to reach their own conclusions through using and questioning primary and secondary sources. They have the necessary skills to communicate their findings and argue for their point of view; skills that will help them in their adult life. Our pupils learn lessons from history to influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future and the knowledge and skills to make them competent, confident historians.