INTENT – what do we aspire for our children?
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip 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.
Source: National Curriculum (updated Jan 2021)
What drives our History curriculum at St Werburgh’s Primary School?
Historians at St Werburgh’s Primary are able to place key events and people from the past chronologically. They are able to recall key facts, ask questions and offer opinions using evidence and reasoning . They know that there are different interpretations of the past and can discuss why these differ. They have a secure knowledge of key historical events and key people from a variety of cultures and places around the world. Historians are able to critically assess sources of information to form their opinions.
Together towards excellence
● At St Werburgh’s we value our history education, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to be involved in learning about the past together. We want them to understand people and their cultures and to see their own history and heritage represented in what they learn.
● We want them to have an excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
● Our children will have the ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry. They will be able to communicate this confidently
● At St Werburgh’s our history curriculum is broad, diverse and inclusive and celebrates people and cultures from all around the world. We study the local history of our community as well as history from the wider world. We want them to develop their respect and attitude towards others.
● We think it is important to be reflective and analytical of the past and use this to think about the impact that has on our lives in the current day.
● We believe that understanding history and legacy can help us support the society of today.
● To utilise their skills to enquire, analyse and reflect on evidence in order to develop their own understanding of the past and present
● To develop and ask their own questions to investigate the past
● Thinking hard to make links between prior learning and new learning
● Listening carefully, with an open mind to consider representations of the past, the reasons for and consequences of historical events and changes.
● To produce detailed, well-presented work to demonstrate their disciplinary knowledge and use of historical enquiry.
Concepts in History are supported through the area of learning ‘Understanding The World’. Within this we:
Introduce the language and concepts of past, present and future starting with the immediate e.g yesterday, last week and building up to thinking about the process of change through thinking about them as a baby, young child and older child – future self.
Develop the understanding that events can be simultaneous but in different places, e.g I am in school and my daddy is at home with my baby sister. And that events can happen in the future e.g in the summer holidays I am going to the beach. THis supports the understanding that things happened before their lifetime.
Observe the passing of time in meaningful ways linked to events in their life e.g birthdays, celebrations and thinking about significant people in their lives such as immediate family and different generations – grandparents.
Celebrate differences in people in their lives through discussion about family, professionals and culture. Considering their own uniqueness while also considering the differences and similarities of others.
The national curriculum for History aims to ensure that all pupils:
● know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
● know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
● gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’ and ‘parliament’
● understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
● understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
● gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
● critically analyse events and attitudes from the past, including local heritage, and evaluate the impact on the present and the possible impact on the future.
● develop young historians who can communicate their understanding both verbally and in written form through explicit teaching of rich, subject specific vocabulary and necessary oracy skills.
● develop passionate, knowledgeable and proud historians
St Werburgh’s Long Term Sequence for History
Six substantive concepts are taught and revisited to ensure there is development and progression in children’s learning. To develop children’s ability to ‘think like a historian’, disciplinary knowledge has been linked to each unit. The long-term sequence for history is outlined in the chart below:
The substantive concept sequence is here
Knowledge Organisers and Knowledge Notes:
Knowledge Organisers are used for each unit.
Knowledge Notes are used in each lesson.
● KN are explained by the teacher, who may also model how they can be marked up to support learning.
● REDUCES SPLIT ATTENTION EFFECT.
● Makes VOCABULARY unmissable.
● Supports guided and independent practice.
● Enables productive GENERATIVE LEARNING tasks to be undertaken.
This is the use of knowledge as a historian; the types of questions a historian should ask as they explore the past. These are framed as questions in order to ensure personalisation to each unit of learning, but also to reflect disciplinary thinking.
An example of how this is represented in a unit:
We recognise the vital role that oracy plays in the lives and life chances of our children, therefore we plan explicit opportunities to develop their oracy skills as well as opportunities to learn through oracy across the curriculum.
We promote oracy through History by teaching Tier 2 & 3 vocabulary and using discussion guidelines in classes which allows the children to explain, discuss, debate and share their ideas when thinking about their reading.
IMPLEMENTATION – how will we deliver the curriculum?
Delivery of the Curriculum at St Werburgh’s
The history curriculum is taught across each year group, in modules that enable children to study in depth key historical themes, events and periods using skills, knowledge and vocabulary taught. Each module builds on prior learning and these are strategically planned throughout the academic year with opportunities to introduce and revisit key concepts in order to deepen pupil understanding and embed learning. Low stakes quizzing to retrieve knowledge and remember more is used regularly.
The CEEAAC approach is used in every lesson:
● Passport of experiences https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wMmNi1dJvcyJIUNgnl9qZgaLiYz-WdmD
● Visits to places of historical importance, e.g. SS Great Britain
● Participation in significant local events, e.g. St. Paul’s Carnival
● Visiting speakers
Reading Across the Curriculum:
As a school, we subscribe to Curriculum Visions to facilitate children’s access to high quality texts and videos to support learning. These can be accessed at school and within the home.
We recognise some pupils need provision ‘additional to’ quality first teaching in order to reach their potential as geographers. This includes:
– Carefully considered scaffolding
– Pre and post-teaching
– Pre-planned management of cognitive load
– Explicit instruction and modelling
– Structured challenge, without ceilings
– Alternative ways of recording
– Additional targeted adult support
In some instances, specialist adaptations are made to support the specific barriers of individual pupils.
IMPACT – how do we know our curriculum is effective?
Pupil Voice :
– use historical vocabulary
– talk about historical specific concepts & knowledge
– talk about the ‘why’ behind the learning
– explain how learning builds on previous knowledge
– talk about their progress regardless of starting points
High quality outcomes: Book study…
● demonstrates pride and effort
● captures increasing understanding of historical concepts and knowledge
● demonstrates a clear sequence of learning
● vocabulary used correctly where appropriate
● demonstrates that learners are thinking historically
CUSP is designed and built on the premise that ‘learning equals a persistent change in the long term memory.’ Therefore, the assessment structures are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum sometime after it has been taught.
The curriculum is a progression model. Teachers will know whether students are making progress if they are learning more of the curriculum.
The CUSP curriculum is designed to ensure sequencing of core knowledge, vocabulary, substantive concepts and disciplinary knowledge. They will know more, and remember more with the taught curriculum content. Essentially they will be able to do more with this knowledge in carefully designed learning tasks.
This will be assessed using the Book Study approach- talking with pupils and looking at their books systematically to reveal:
● Content and knowledge
● How the pedagogy and taught curriculum helps/hinders their learning
Pupils will be assessed formatively as each lesson progresses. Pupils will be given tasks from which the teachers will draw conclusions. Adaptations will then be made as a result of that evidence.
Strategies that might be used are:
● Making explicit the learning intention and success criteria
● Eliciting evidence of pupils’ prior knowledge
● Feeding back at the point of learning
● Inclusive questioning i.e. cold call, mini whiteboards
● Retrieval practice i.e. cumulative quizzing