How we teach History
The aim of History teaching at East Dene Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding of the life of people. We help pupils gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this, they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. By considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and by doing so, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving.
The intended outcome of this history curriculum is to develop pupils’ interest in and coherence of knowledge about the past. It aims to cultivate historical perspective, critical thinking skills, and the ability to interpret issues from different standpoints when examining people, events and sources. The curriculum is designed to be engaging, accessible and chronological considering the mixed year groups classes of KS2.
The disciplinary concepts include:
Similarity and difference (diversity)
Change and continuity
Historical enquiry/using evidence/communicating about the past
Children will develop their disciplinary knowledge through being given the opportunities to work like historians. Our curriculum has been designed around enquiry questions which bring together substantive and disciplinary knowledge (what we know and how we know it). Through historical enquiries pupils will develop the disciplinary skills of enquiry and communication.
In KS2 the units are sequenced chronologically within each cycle. These cycles are brought together to form a longer chronological narrative. Children will be introduced to what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past by exploring disciplinary concepts and they will be introduced to different interpretations of the past Children are given opportunities to makes links between our community and their points of origin and their migration stories. We try to make learning in history as real and engaging as possible, with regular trips, visitors, wow days and by sourcing relevant artefacts.
The history curriculum has links with the wider curriculum such as geography, PHSE and RE. History supports the development of children reading through their encounters with different text types such has newspapers, diaries and stories. History also supports children’s writing in different genre through dramatic reconstructions, factual accounts, diaries as a way of communication their knowledge and understanding.
The curriculum will be implemented through chronological units using a range of sources and hands-on experiences. Key concepts will be revisited across units to aid retrieval and retention. Assessment focuses on knowledge application and retention rather than tick-box coverage. In KS2, where classes are in mixed year groups, each cycle is chronological and progressive to build on the prior phases’ learning. KS1 builds upon the learning in EYFS while introducing chronology and giving children a solid foundation to delve deeper into historical understanding.
Pupils will demonstrate a developing understanding of the past, showing improved vocabulary, perspective, critical judgement and ability to make connections across time periods by the end of KS2. Disadvantaged pupils will be supported to achieve outcomes comparable with non-disadvantaged. Children will be developed into people who question, understand and reflect on what is around them and are comfortable supporting their thoughts with evidence. The curriculum will give pupils knowledge to help them become more informed, critical citizens.
History in the Foundation Stage is taught under the umbrella of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ from the EYFS. The children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that helps them to make sense of the world. The pupils are encouraged to talk about their families and the past and present events in their lives.
They are beginning to gain knowledge and understanding of the world through:
- Listening to stories and memories of older people
- Role play activities
- Discussing events in the past and their own personal lives
- Sequencing events to gain a sense of time
Key Stage 1
In Year 1/2, 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 will be taught about:
- Changes within living memory.
- Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally (for example, the Great Fire of London and the first aeroplane flight).
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some are used to compare aspects of life in different periods (for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong and Florence Nightingale).
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Lower Key Stage 2
In year 3/4, pupils begin 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 note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They begin to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They also begin to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Children are taught about:
- The Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
- Ancient Civilizations – Sumer, Egypt, Indus Valley
- Ancient Greece
Upper Key Stage 2
In year 5/6, pupils 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 note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They continue to construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They also continue to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Children are taught about:
- Tudor Britain
- The Mayan civilization
- Early Islamic civilization
- Local history – Victorians
- World War 2
- Changing Britain
History 2 Year Cycle