Our aim is for all children to have a knowledge and understanding of key periods in history, to learn to ask questions about why things have happened in the past and to consider the impact of those events (see Curriculum Driver 3 Creativity: culture and enrichment, and Curriculum Driver 4 Exploration: adventure and discovery)
This vision is achieved by:
- A curriculum that builds progressively on knowledge of chronology and the significant aspects of particular key periods
- A curriculum that promotes children’s curiosity and a desire to ask questions through a progressive series of enquiry based lessons
- A curriculum that develops an appreciation of the influences and impact of the past on the way we live today
- At St Michael’s, we want the children to have an understanding of St Michael’s heritage, in particular the impact of the Romans and the Victorians on our local area
Implementation of the History Vision
Reception children investigate History as part of Understanding of the World (See St Michael’s EYFS curriculum: Exceptional Explorer and Looking after our Environment). ‘Understanding of the world’ involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. At St Michael’s we aim to give the children a range experiences to increase their knowledge and sense of the world around them, for example through visiting parks, zoos, libraries and museums.
Children listen to a wide and varied selection of stories, non-fiction books, rhymes and poems to increase their appreciation and understanding of our diverse world. As well as developing their knowledge of History, these sessions serve to increase the children’s familiarity with new vocabulary and therefore have greater access to all areas of the curriculum.
‘Understanding of the world’ links closely with our Curriculum Driver 4 – Exploration (‘Exceptional Explorers’).
Years 1 – 6
At St. Michael’s we have chosen to use resources from Collins Connected to support the delivery of our History curriculum. We have chosen this scheme as it provides stimulating resources which support pupils to consider questions, as well as to acquire knowledge, and therefore to have a greater depth of understanding.
In Key Stage 1 and 2 each year group undertakes three half-termly enquiries in History and these are outlined in the Long Term Plan Years 1-6
Each of these enquiries is informed by a Medium Term Plan which outlines the key question, key learning and key vocabulary for each unit. (see appendix b – learning journeys)
The resource includes:
•Clear learning objectives
•The context of the investigation, including background subject content knowledge about each topic to ensure that teachers are fully confident to support children in their learning about history
•Details of National Curriculum coverage in both History and other subject areas to which the enquiry is connected
•Comprehensive learning and teaching activities which are fully explained
•Specific subject vocabulary
•Suggested opportunities for assessment during learning activities and at the end of each enquiry
•Home learning ideas
Measuring the Impact of the History Vision and Implementation
Formative assessment takes place during every History lesson, and is the basis on which teachers tailor the teaching to the needs of the pupils. Pupils have the opportunity to evaluate their own learning in History through the use of learning journeys.
Summative assessment takes place twice each year. It is used to:
- identify areas of strength and weakness for classes, groups and individuals
- provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups) and to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age.
We use the Collins Connected scheme’s assessment criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6. These are split into 3 sections, matching end-of-year expectations for each year group, each of which begins with an indication of the context in which the skills should be assessed, to ensure that the pitch of the lesson is age-appropriate.
Subject leader monitors provision in History through:
- observations and learning walks
- analysis of attainment and progress
- teacher/subject leader discussions
- pupil voice activities
- an annual 'deep dive' in History with the senior leadership team
Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year
Home Learning and Enrichment
A half-termly ‘topic’ activity is set by the class teacher.
Class teachers for each year group aim to undertake at least one history related outside visit during the academic year.
Whole School ‘St Michael’s Heritage’ Weeks
Each year we hold three whole school heritage weeks:
- What was the impact of the Romans on our local area? (autumn)
- What was the impact of the Victorians on our local area? (spring)
- What would we like our legacy to be for future generations of St Michael’s pupils? (summer)