Why do we teach History?
As inquisitive historians, our children will gain a depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding of the past, its environments and places both near and far, and the processes that create and affect them both human and physical. They will be curious and want to know more about the past. Teaching history equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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.
How do we teach History?
Teaching, learning and historical enquiry is planned in line with the curriculum overview. Teachers are expected to use the Historical Association and Key Stage History websites for the base of their planning supplemented by other high quality resources such as the British Museum and agreed with the History leader. .
As evident in the overview below, at St Silas history is taught discretely over three half terms per year, however some units are double units to allow for depth and breadth of learning within that subject area.
In Key Stage 1, as year groups are mixed, a two-year rolling programme is used to ensure children are learning a broad and balanced curriculum. Their learning is based around stories linked to the history topic.
Pupil’s are sat in mixed ability groups following our Cooperative Learning approach and to promote oracy, and a variety of teaching approaches such as whole-class lessons, group, paired and individual work and discussions are experienced by pupil’s during their history lessons.
We believe educational visits help to promote learning in all aspects of history and we aim to incorporate it in all areas of the curriculum. In particular, children study at depth our local area allowing regular opportunities to explore the area they live and learn in. Our curriculum is designed so that we can make full use of historical places of interest in our local area such as Ribchester to teach about Romans.A comprehensive list of visitors, trips and visits has been built upon and shared with staff over the years alongside careful planning from staff to ensure engagement in a wide range of different experiences over their time at St Silas.
As a school, we have a strong emphasis on the value of quality-first teaching in relation to subject specific vocabulary. Pupils are exposed to a range of specific vocabulary outlined in the History Vocabulary Lists. This will involve children building a ‘Word Wall’ both in their books and on display in the classroom to explore the meaning and apply these new words to their learning. Teachers are expected to ask high quality questions at the beginning of each lesson which recaps on previous vocabulary knowledge to ensure recall from the children. This will be done in a variety of ways to ensure all children are engaged including KAGAN strategies, BINGO games and quizzes.
What do we teach?
St Silas has personalised the National Curriculum to make the most of our local area and to meet the needs of our children. For example Year 6 children study Islamic civilisations.
Pupils in Foundation Stage will:
- Understanding the World
- Past and Present
Children will develop an understanding and knowledge of some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
They will understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.
Children will access these objectives through provision which is centered around the children and their enquiry, with much emphasis placed upon stories and discussions. It is important to recognise that the early years education is the building blocks to children accessing the Key Stage 1 learning.
Pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 will:
The children will know and understand the history of the UK from the earliest times to the present day and will know how people’s lives have shaped the UK. They will know how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world and know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world including the nature of ancient civilisations.
British Values and School Values
Our British Values and School Values are identified within the Geography/History overview attached below and are embedded within each unit and the individual lessons taught. Pupil’s are encouraged to value and respect God’s world and his people.
The History Key Concepts are taken from the aims within The National Curriculum.
Within our History units are opportunities to develop our pupils British Values:
- Democracy – Government, Law, Trade
- Individual Liberty – Slavery, Worship
- Mutual Respect – Cultural awareness and diversity, environmental impact and sustainability and worship
Within the units opportunities to develop our christian school values:
- Love - Environment (physical and human processes) Fair Trade,
- Belonging - Cultural awareness and diversity, Interconnections & local history & local geography
- Service - Environmental impact and sustainability, Environment Impact
- Thankfulness -Environmental impact and Sustainability, Fair Trade & Environment (physical and human processes)
Pupil progress will be assessed and monitored throughout the year through normal teacher planning and organisation. Teachers follow the school’s Feedback policy for formative assessment and individual and whole class feedback. Alongside this there will be an end of topic assessment. At the end of each topic the children are given a historical enquiry based question to answer based on the topic they have been studying. The term’s work will build up to answer this question and children will be exposed to knowledge mats to help them contain the information needed for the end of the topic assessment piece. The children will then be given time to answer this question using the work they have done over the term, this will then be marked in detail by a teacher and given back to the children with areas for development. The teacher will then model how to answer the question, including the use of key vocabulary. The children will then be provided with the opportunity to edit and improve their piece of writing to develop this further and consolidate their understanding.
Each unit of work will be assessed against the skills and knowledge outlined in the ‘Knowledge Planner’ created for each unit of work. This will be recorded on the ‘Unit Assessment Grid’ and handed to the subject leader at the end of each taught unit along with examples of work and planning used. These assessments will be used to inform the subject leader on the progression of pupil’s and the class teacher for future planning purposes.
At the end of the academic year, each child will be assessed against the ‘End of Year Expectations’.
Parents are informed of their child’s progress throughout the year through parent’s evenings and via annual reports sent home in the summer term.
Message from the Subject Leader
History Subject Leader
My name is Miss Smith and I am the history lead here at St Silas. I have developed a love and interest in history over my time as lead and have developed this interest with staff also. I studied history myself up to AS level and was thrilled when asked by Mrs Battersby to be our whole school lead. I enjoy learning about all periods of History but my two favourites so far have to be the Great Fire of London & the Romans. I particularly enjoy learning about local history, especially the local area unit in Year 2 and our previous Year 5 Remembrance topic.
To develop history within our school I have taken part in a range of subject leadership training including working with the local authority and school advisors to design a curriculum personalised to this school. Oppoortunites have been provided throughout the year to work alongside the Geography leader to ensure compatibility between the subjects.
This range of training and support has ensured that the subject is designed, implemented and evaluated effectively and also in line with the National Curriculum while taking into account the needs of our children, parents, wider community and staff.
Support for Parents
The Historical Association & Key Stage History – the school memberships to each of these websites allow teachers to keep up to date with the latest research, planning, resources and CPD within History
DigiMap for Schools - provides children the opportunity to explore OS maps both present day and historical for Great Britain and more recently the rest of the world. It is used within school for local studies and compare and contrast work. It is ideal for young minds discovering the changes which have occurred over time in their local area. Your child will be given a password to access this website from home. Take a look!
First News – this is a newspaper written for children. These newspapers and online resources are used regularly within our curriculum to explore current topical events both locally and around the globe.