‘a people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots,’ Marcus Garvey.
Our over-arching aim through our teaching of history is to enthuse children about the subject and develop children who think like Historians.
History fires pupils’ curiosity about the past and the wider world. Children will consider how the past can influence the present as well as the future. It develops chronological framework for children’s knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society.
Through teaching History, we intent to:
- Develop a deep knowledge and understanding of the periods studied, including significant individuals, significant events and key knowledge and vocabulary
- Develop a knowledge of significant people who have influenced the course of history
- Develop chronological understanding of periods of time, both as an overview of civilisations throughout time and significant events within each period studied
- Develop an understanding of how to use sources in a variety of ways, including deducing ideas about the past
- Develop an understanding of how the past is represented and interpreted in different ways and the critical thinking skills required to do this
- Develop the ability to make comparisons between different people alive at the same time (e.g. men and women, rich and poor), people alive at different times (e.g. a pharaoh and a Roman emperor) or people and things in the period studied and in the modern day (tools used in the stone age versus tools used today).
We feel that is it of the utmost importance that the children in our school learn about their own heritage and the history of the locality in which they live. We have designed this bespoke History unit in order to help them develop their understanding of the Locality, how the town came to be, the reasons that it looks the way that it does, what was there before and how employment in the area has changed enormously over time.
In order to implement our history curriculum, we have developed a ‘big question’ approach. Each term, children will have a big question to explore in history. This big questions will be broken down into a series of smaller questions which help to answer the big one. Each unit is a story of change and so follows a pattern of ‘what was it like before?, What happened during the time?, What was it like at the end, what changes have taken place and how were people impacted?’
We use a dual objective approach so that children gain both knowledge about the time they are studying (know that…) as well as being able to think and work like a historian (know how…)
Sample Medium Term Plan
In the early years, children will:
- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society.
- Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
- Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.
Throughout the teaching of history at Delves Lane Primary School, there are two threads which recur in many units of learning. In our curriculum, the ideas of power and change, in their different forms, are revisited numerous times.
In Year 2, children will think about power in the form of monarchy through their unit, ‘which famous queen had the biggest impact on Britain?’, Children in Year 3 will revisit the idea of power in their unit, ‘what were the Ancient Egyptians able to achieve’ through learning about Pharaohs. Children in Year 4 will revisit the idea of power in the form of empire through their ‘What did the Romans do for Britain?’ unit and also through looking at the power vacuum that was left behind when the Roman army left Britain. Children in year 5 will revisit the idea of power in the form of monarchy, oligarchy and democracy through their unit, ‘how did the ancient Greeks change the world we live in?’ as well as learning about the struggle for power between the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings following the Viking invasion of Britain in their ‘Who’d win in a fight, Vikings or Anglo-Saxons?’ unit. Finally, in year 6, children will learn about how the Benin people became powerful through trade and slavery only to lose their power when slavery was later abolished in Europe in their ‘What happened to the powerful Benin empire?’ unit.
Throughout the teaching of history, teachers will constantly assess whether children have retained the core knowledge that has been taught through questioning, quick quizzes, discussions and assessment activities. Teachers will then intervene and create appropriate activities depending on their assessments.
Annually, children will be assessed against their knowledge and progression in understanding of key concepts. This information will be passed to the history leader so that next steps in the curriculum can be planned.