At Chad Vale Primary School, we aim for a high quality history curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History is about real people who lived, and real events which happened in the past.
History is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past; it gives us a sense of identity, set within our social, political, cultural and economic relationships.
History fires the children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and plays an essential part in preparing us for living and working in the contemporary world.
Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events, people and places.
They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In history, children find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and debate their point of view – skills that are prized in adult life.
Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world; know and understand about significant aspects of the history of the wider world like ancient civilisations and empires; changes in living memory and beyond living memory; learn about the lives of significant people of the past; understand the methods of historical enquiry and be able to ask and answer questions.
We want our children to enjoy and love learning about history by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with educational visits.
The National Curriculum 2014
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school, which enables all children to gain real-life historical experiences. Our history curriculum focuses on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum which provides a framework outlining the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage which ensures 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’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
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.
History Curriculum Planning
The National Curriculum informs and guides our planning. We ensure that there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding within the historical aspect studied. In each year group we ensure continuity and progression of key skills so that children are increasingly challenged as they progress through the key stages. At Chad Vale Primary School we use elements from the Chris Quigley Curriculum as a base for our History curriculum. This breaks down the content of the National Curriculum into smaller chunks called 'Milestones' and ensures appropriate progression throughout the school as well as ensuring that relevant skills are being taught.
The subject leader provides the overview of the historical aspects to be taught in each year group. Class teachers then develop appropriate lesson plans including specific learning objectives in accordance with the overview. Cross curricular links will be made when they are substantial and effective. The history subject leader will monitor planning on a regular basis. The overview ensures that in Key Stage 2 (KS2) the British historical periods are taught in chronological order where possible; whereas in Key Stage 1 (KS1) the emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of past and present, developing a questioning approach and learning about significant individuals and events.
The expectation is that history is taught for three half-terms across a year. In some instances, this may be taught as a ‘block’. A minimum of 6 hours will be dedicated to each topic. Teachers will follow the national curriculum points highlighted for their year groups along with Chris Quigley’s ‘Milestones’ to ensure complete coverage. Knowledge organisers are provided for each main topic in each year group. Where possible educational visits will be organised to further support learning.
In Reception, all children are taught history as an integral part of the learning covered during the academic year. All historical objectives within the EYFS are underpinned by the objectives of the early learning goals (ELGs). The history curriculum in the EYFS enables children to:
Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
Know that other children do not always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.
Know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
In planning and guiding children’s activities, teachers constantly reflect on the different ways that children learn. It allows the teaching staff to provide all children with rich historical opportunities through playing, exploring and active learning. Children are continually encouraged to make meaningful connections in their learning.
History and SEND
At Chad Vale Primary School, history is taught to all children, whatever their ability. History forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our history teaching, we provide learning opportunities that match the needs of children with learning difficulties and we take into account the targets set for individual children in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
By the time children leave Chad Vale Primary School, they will have a deep understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world and they will feel inspired to know more about the past. Progress, measured against the milestones set in each concept, will show children have the opportunity to reach an advanced and deep understanding of historical concepts. Children will have experienced a wide range of educational visits to places such as Aston Hall, Cadbury World, Lunt Fort, Severn Valley Railway, Galleries of Justice and many more.
When history is taught to a high level, children will be ready for the next phase in education and will demonstrate this by eloquently articulating their knowledge and skills as young historians. Furthermore, children will have a secure understanding of chronology and the impact each period of study has had on the other.
“In History I have enjoyed, Egyptian Day, learning about World War II, and finding out more about the Vikings.”
“History at Chad Vale is fun because of the interesting lessons and exciting trips!”
“The areas that are currently my favourite are… the Vikings and Ancient Egyptians… Particularly the Vikings whose influence is still very much present in England and modern Europe today.
“For me it (history) is like my personal time machine. I get to travel through time periods and experience different people and cultures across the ages.”
“History for me is like a never ending treasure hunt; it’s like digging in the sand on a giant beach and unearthing precious gems of knowledge.”