Statement of Intent
At Wincle CE Primary School, we aim to develop confident, skilled historians who possess a keen interest in learning about the past. We recognise that an understanding of British and World history forms an essential part of children’s social and cultural development and work to ensure that all children leave school with a respect for the lives that came before them. Further to this, we understand that many of the skills required to be a good historian – such as critical thinking and synthesis of ideas – are essential to developing well-rounded learners and, as such, history is a valued part of our curriculum. We also recognise that learning about history should be fun and therefore tailor our history programme to cater to children’s interests.
Key features of our History curriculum:
History teaching is grounded in interactive, multi-sensory experiences which are introduced in reception and continue throughout a child’s time at Wincle school.
History can only be understood when it is studied in relation to a child’s own experiences and existing knowledge. As such, our History programme promotes opportunities to reflect and draw comparisons between different historical contexts, allowing children to build a comprehensive understanding of the past by synthesizing previous teaching with their current topic. Furthermore, all teaching is delivered in a way that is relevant to individual learners’ interests and needs, promoting their desire to explore aspects of the past that are relevant to their lives in the present.
History is recognized as a cultural phenomena and, as such, social-constructivist pedagogy is used in all lessons to support pupils to develop their cultural capital, understanding of others and management of self-identity. The idea that understanding of the past can lead to enhanced understanding of the self is encouraged throughout our history curriculum. In addition to this, we ensure that pupils are given time to form connections between aspects of modern culture and the historical figures, events or periods that they relate to.
History develops core skills required for all learning. Approaching all information with a degree of skepticism, and possessing the skills to evaluate its relevance, is a key historical skill that improves literacy comprehension, scientific inquiry and wider learning. As such, historical inquiry is encouraged from the earliest stages of our history teaching. It is recognised that the effective teaching of inquiry skills relies on autonomy. For this reason, opportunities for independent, autonomous learning are incorporated into every history lesson.
Historical understanding is reliant on a number of abstract concepts that can be difficult to understand, such as “civilisation” and “empire”. Understanding of these concepts relies on enhanced theory of mind and the understanding that lives exist outside of children’s own worlds. In recognition of these difficulties, the terminology is used repeatedly throughout our curriculum, in a range of different contexts, to allow pupils’ understanding to develop and consolidate over time.
Our History curriculum supports children to develop skills in the following key areas:
Investigate and interpret the past
Children should not just be presented with historical facts but trained to investigate historical figures, events and periods by obtaining sources and analyzing their significance. Initially, pupils are taught to understand that history can only be understood through artefacts and documents. Their understanding of how historical evidence differs in source, purpose and, therefore, value develops throughout their time at school. By the end of year six, pupils should be able to contrast historical arguments and determine how different evidence has led people to form differing conclusions about history.
Possess knowledge and understanding of British and world history
Over six years, pupils are given opportunities to study a range of historical periods from British and World history. They develop an understanding of their knowledge by comparing historical contexts with each other and with the present, forming judgements about how periods differed and why. At the beginning of their history journey, they learn to identify the key characteristics of civilisations or events. By the end of primary school, they should be able to abstract meaning from these characteristics, explaining what they can infer about the period in history from those events.
It is important for learners to be able to understand where and when historical events or periods happened in relation to each other. Whilst, in key stage one, pupils should be able to describe how long-ago events happened and, from this, place events on a timeline, in key stage two, pupils should begin to recognise that some of the periods studied occurred at the same time. By the end of Key Stage Two, pupils should be able to explain how various civilisations interacted with each other to inform subsequent events.
All pupils should be able to use age-appropriate vocabulary and techniques to convey their knowledge and understanding of the past. Pupils are taught to use such vocabulary from the start of their history education, gaining competence in using the language of chronology. In Key Stage Two, this language should extend to support comparison and evaluation. Pupils should first be able to apply this language in short, written or verbal accounts of historical events. They should be able to produce accurate timelines and provide valid annotations of historical evidence. Before they leave primary school, pupils should be able to structure accounts and analyses of significant historical periods, learning how to integrate evidence into their writing to support their answers to key questions. Based on their work, they should be able to frame their own, insightful questions about why historical events occurred.
It is important for pupils to understand how history is reflected in modern British society and across the world. In Key Stage One, they should be taught to form connections between physical and artistic features of their environments and the past. For example, they may recognise that certain buildings were built in a different time period or understand that idioms originate in historical events. By Key Stage Two, pupils should be able to analyse the influence of history on society in greater detail, considering how modern political, religious and cultural contexts reflect the sequence of events leading to their creation.
Click to download our curriculum map: