Subject Leader – Mrs Lowe
At St. Mary’s and St. Benedict’s Primary School, our high-quality History curriculum aims to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum in an exciting, inclusive and challenging way. We follow the National Curriculum objectives for History and have adapted the curriculum cycle to suit our needs as a school. We have high expectations for our children and we ensure tasks are appropriately differentiated or adapted to meet the individual needs of our children.
Teachers at our school inspire the children’s curiosity to know more about the past, encourage them to ask questions and enable them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and that of the wider world. The children will gain knowledge and a coherent understanding of people, events and periods in history whilst being provided with opportunities to interpret information from different sources, evaluate historical information and use methods of historical enquiry.
We plan History using the Lancashire Scheme of Work, which we have adapted to suit our needs. We plan History on a 2 year rolling cycle to ensure all children have complete coverage of the National Curriculum and have access to the same experiences. We ensure that there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each topic and we build planned progression into the scheme of work so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.
Our History Curriculum
In Key Stage 1 children 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. Children should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.
In Key Stage 2 children continue to develop a chronologically and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should identify connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical vocabulary. They should regularly ask and answer questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
In our Reception class our children work within the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework so History is taught through a variety of topics that come under the heading ‘Understanding of the World’. Children learn how to compare things, looking at similarities and differences and use their knowledge of their families and the world to learn simple chronology. We give children opportunities to talk about what they know, what they have learnt and support them to make links.
Our History curriculum is progressive and knowledge-based. Woven within our curriculum are our specifically chosen ‘Substantive concepts’ which the children revisit throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Our chosen Substantive concepts are Civilisation, Justice/ Equality, Childhood and Migration. As the children revisit each historical concept, they build on previously taught learning, making connections and developing their understanding and knowledge of each concept, whilst observing how they change throughout time.
When planning each topic, ‘disciplinary concepts’ are planned for, focusing on the specific knowledge and enquiry skills relevant to the topic. The disciplinary progression throughout KS1 and KS2 covers Change and Continuity, Causes, Sources and Evidence, Similarities and Differences, Chronology, Historical Interpretations and Chronology. These skills are set out in the Purpose of Study and Aims of the National Curriculum.
Each unit of work is structured around an overarching enquiry question. Each enquiry question is broken down into specific, smaller questions, which create clear, progressive steps throughout the historical unit. This carefully sequenced learning allows the children to answer the question by the end of the topic.
The use of Knowledge organisers act as a useful source of information for children to refer to during the topic. They contain key vocab, prior learning and useful diagrams or information relevant to the topic. At the end of each topic, each class adds work to a ‘Topic Floor Book’ which then gets passed on to the next class for children to reflect on the following year. This promotes ‘Sticky Learning’ and encourages children to make connections within their History learning.
History is taught alongside texts connected to the topic, enabling the children to link a narrative to their learning. Specifically chosen texts are used as our class novel to acquire knowledge, whilst providing opportunities for the children to develop their reading skills.
Using their knowledge, vocabulary and historical skills, the children will work to produce creative outcomes in their Topic books. Their high quality work will reflect the learning planned throughout each historical topic.
Trips and Visits
Throughout children’s school career at St. Mary’s and St. Benedict’s, children are provided with a wealth of enrichment opportunities which endeavour to consolidate and deepen their existing historical knowledge from the classroom. These opportunities inspire and ignite the childrens' natural curiosity for this wonderful subject.
Black History Month
We marked Black History Month in school with each class researching a significant black individual that changed History. We did a piece of writing alongside a piece of artwork to explore the individuals in detail. Some classes linked it to their English unit for example, Mary class studied Rosa Parks as part of their biographies unit, researching how her stand for black people's rights changed the world! They used drama, hot seating, poetry and artwork to explore Rosa Park's life in detail.
Woodcock class used "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly as their class book and writing about Dorothy Vaughan in writing week. Dorothy was the first black, female engineer to ever be employed at NASA - without her we would never have made it to the moon!
The children in Rigby class learnt about Harriet Tubman and her role in the Underground Railway where she helped enslaved people to freedom. The children created a class poem and their own poems inspired by Harriet Tubman's work. They also looked how patterns in quilts also known as 'freedom quilts' were used by the Underground Railroad as a code for slaves trying to escape to freedom. The children created their own patterns to represent freedom.
Each year we hold a Topic week to inspire children’s curiosity about the past. We encourage visitors to come into the school and share their experiences of events in the past.
Our last History week focused on the history of our school and children learnt ‘How to be a historian’. The week focused on children using their key skills to investigate the events of the past. Children learnt how to question, enquire, explore, interpret and compare.
The week started with a ‘History hunt’ around the school where children had to search for clues from the past. At each station, children could explore artefacts and old pictures of the school and key questions encouraged children to use their enquiry and comparing skills. The children collected a jigsaw piece at each station and took it back to class to connect back together.
In Key Stage 1, we had a workshop with ‘Travellers through time’ where the children learnt about old toys and games through the ages.
In Key Stage 2, the children had a workshop with ‘Imagining History’ which concentrated on the topic of Ancient Egypt with a focus on enquiry skills.
The children were also set a homework challenge to find the oldest object in their house or a relative’s house. The response was absolutely fantastic as children found objects such as ration books, binoculars, diaries, army helmets and telescopes.
For further information on how we cater for the needs of SEND pupils, please visit our SEND page and refer to our SEND policy.
Here are some useful websites you can access with your child. Just click on the image to access them: