History at Cropredy CE Primary School
At Cropredy CE Primary School our aim is to encourage pupils to develop an appreciation and understanding on how the past has shaped our lives. As historians, pupils are exposed to a rich and balanced curriculum that provides them with new vocabulary and sticky facts. Pupils will be taught to make links between each topic studied and build upon their existing understanding of terminology. We aim to develop curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links.
Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the national curriculum. The National Curriculum states, ‘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.’
The topics taught have be specifically selected to build upon children’s understanding. It has been carefully organised into a model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a coherent way.
In line with the National Curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Cropredy Primary School aims to ensure that all pupils:
Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past;
Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement;
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.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years).
Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They can draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.
Topic vocabulary mats underpin children’s understanding of subject specific language, remind children of previous knowledge and provide visual and summative information on key knowledge to be learned. They support children in engaging in independent tasks. These are placed in books and are used as a reference point as needed. In addition, they are made available to parents to support learning at home.
Lessons are planned to promote higher order thinking and effective questioning is a key feature of lessons. This is used to prompt children’s recall and to encourage them to reach conclusions on their own.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the school’s progression mapping as appropriate. The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. Visits to the local area and use of local artefacts, such as the use of maps and photographs of The Battle of Cropredy, also support contextualised learning, as well as the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills. We are also incredibly fortunate to have a vast amount of outdoor space, including a wooded area; this allows children to be hands on with History and helps to support our commitment to inclusive learning.
Educational visits are a key part of our History curriculum, and we aim to have two visits each year if we are able to do so. They offer opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional History learning outside the classroom. Our children have explored local museums and had visitors into school to share learning and have hands on experiences.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. In addition, staff have access to the Historical Association online resources and Hamilton plans and resources. However, teachers’ lesson design is not limited by schemes accessed.
The History curriculum is designed to ensure appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about. Teachers cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Our History curriculum offers high quality and well-planned lessons which encourage progression. Continuity and progression in the curriculum are built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within History.
These are broken into Year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners. Essential Knowledge, Skills and Understanding are embedded within our curriculum planning, helping us to ensure that children’s essential skills are being developed, alongside National Curriculum requirements.
Furthermore, good historical questioning helps pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past.
Through our curriculum, pupils learn to think critically, ask perceptive questions and evaluate evidence.
In order to ensure our aims have been met, we scrutinise topics through:
Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
Sharing good practice in staff meetings.
Marking of written work in books against the schools marking and feedback policy.
Teachers to input data using our school topic assessment tracker and cohort tracker.