“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
-Theodore T Roosevelt-
At The Highway Primary School, our historic intent is to encourage our children to develop an appreciation and understanding of history and how it has shaped our world today. We want our children to become historians who are engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links with the present day. Our intent is for our children to ask and answer historical questions, whilst also meeting the needs of all backgrounds, cultures and abilities. Our topics aim to ensure that our children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s history, their locality and the history of the wider world. We teach the children through specific historical topics an intrigue and understanding of how we know about the past through examining primary and secondary sources and learning to question and consider their authenticity and reliability.
Our history periods are informed by the National Curriculum and are relevant to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at The Highway is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to and builds on previous learning.
History is taught as a discrete subject in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in blocked units throughout the year, so that children understand the nature of geographical study and learn as geographers in lessons to achieve depth in their learning. These blocks are designed to enable pupils to acquire a rich web of knowledge as our sequencing and selection of units builds on previous topics and feeds forward to future learning. In Reception, we follow the ‘New EYFS Framework’ and history is covered in ‘Understanding of the World’. Our history curriculum encompasses not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, but goes beyond the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide including trips, visits and themed days to celebrate and raise the profile of important topics/ themes, culture and events, for example Ancient Greek day, Victorian School day, events related to Black History Month and to fully engage our learners by bringing events to life. They experience continuity and depth in their learning. Vocabulary and prior learning will be revisited each lesson equipping our children with historical language and knowledge. By the end of Year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to Roman Britain to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. As a school, consideration is given to how we can enrich children’s understanding of the historical topics within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure progress of historical knowledge, skills and understanding.
The introduction to each new unit ensures that we use learners’ existing knowledge as a starting point and include the use of ‘wow’ activities to hook the children and encourage excitement around the topic. Strong local links are weaved throughout topics in every year group and teachers are encouraged to take classes out to explore the local area and its history during visits. This contributes to children’s sense of identity and gives them a deeper understanding of where they live and the historical context and diversity of our area and world.
Our history curriculum will ensure that children are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about history, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
- have a sound understanding of different periods of time and be able to compare and make links between these.
- deepen their knowledge of the cause and effect that events in history have had and how those impact our lives today.
- develop knowledge of how significant events and people fit into a chronological framework.
- develop a greater understanding of our world and its people, of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to engage children’s curiosity and prompts them to ask questions and seek the answers.
- Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
- Understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture.
- Have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world.
- learn the skills of research, selecting and evaluating evidence, drawing conclusions and arguing their point of view.
- acquire vocabulary to interpret and convey their understanding of the history.
- talk enthusiastically about their history lessons and show a genuine curiosity and interest in the areas they have explored.
- have the confidence and are inspired to further their knowledge.
- become well rounded global citizens who are aware of the past of many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds.
This will be evident through pupil voice, evidence of knowledge and skills and the monitoring of the ambition behind the curriculum. In addition to informal observations during lessons and feedback, we carry out formal assessments at the end of each blocked unit and children are given specific feedback to enable them to develop and deepen their understanding.