At St Mary and St Joseph’s we offer a structure and sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have progressively covered the skills and concepts to meet the aims in the National Curriculum. Our History topics aim to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip children for future learning. These key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units, are: Historical Interpretations; Historical Investigations; Chronological Understanding; Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past; Presenting, Organising and Communicating.
By linking learning to a range of topics, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. Through these topics, we intend to inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in. Where appropriate, we use historical artefacts, visits, workshops and the local area to enthuse and engage the children to find out more about events and people from the past. We make full use of resources within the immediate and wider local area enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality and heritage. For example, Year 2 explore Corfe Castle as part of their ‘Towers, Turrets and Tunnels’ topic, Year 3 visit the Roman Town House in Dorchester as part of their ‘I am Warrior’ topic and Year 5 visit Bovington Tank Museum as part of the Fallen Fields (Remembrance) topic
By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.
History is taught through our Curriculum Maestro topics maintaining strong links to the National Curriculum. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics and vocabulary throughout each year group across the school. Cross curricular outcomes in History are specifically planned for, with strong links between the History curriculum and English lessons enabling further contextual learning.
In order for children to know and remember more in each area of history studied, prior learning is always considered and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into lessons, e.g in year 6 placing the Victorian period into a timeline using their knowledge of previous historical periods studied. Our history topics build on prior knowledge, e.g. comparing how different historical periods were ruled and governed, linking crime and punishment across different periods and events studied.
We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge and understanding, now and in the future.
Through the high quality first teaching of History taking place we will see the impact of the subject in different ways. It will be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as completing a ‘What I know’ and ‘What I would like to find out’ grid at the beginning of topics to revisit at the end of topics and use of Rosenshine pedagogy to review and recall knowledge.