History Curriculum Statement
At St Richard’s we have developed our History curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive for every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that encompasses British Values throughout; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to study life in the past.
During the national lockdown in 2021, we taught History lessons live via Zoom. Staff continued to use the long-term plan enabling children to still access the History units. Children in school and those at home were able to access their lessons. Staff did make some adaptations to the lessons to ensure the activity set could be carried out at home allowing all to access the same learning. During the summer term staff looked out the key knowledge and skills for their year groups and prioritised the teaching for any gaps in knowledge and skills that would impact future learning.
St Richard’s serves a large and varied catchment area and the town of Atherton is identified as a poor socio-economic area. We aim for a high quality history curriculum which should inspire our pupils to develop a curiosity and fascination about Britain’s past and that of the wider world because research tells us that children learn best when they are excited about what they are learning. Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world, as we know that children learn best when they make real life, relevant and contextual links. It is also the intent of the History Curriculum that children will develop their understanding of the influence that significant individuals and events have had on life today. We want our children to know and understand significant aspects of the wider world through studying ancient civilisations. Children are provided with a range of primary and secondary sources and taught how to use these to enhance their learning whilst also enabling them to ask and answer questions. We show children how to successfully carry out research and how to summarise information about the past. We want our children to enjoy and love learning about history, so across school we provide children with enrichment experiences because we know that many of the children in our catchment have limited access to these.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Our EYFS assessment of children on entry reveals that most children are generally below average in communication and language skills. As a result of this the curriculum is carefully planned with careful modelling of vocabulary related to the passing of time. The children are encouraged to talk about significant events in their lives and the lives of their families. Throughout the year the children have opportunities to explore how they have changed and are encouraged to ask questions to find out more information.
Across KS1 and KS2 History is taught as part of four units per year group, focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At St Richard’s, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it all other subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. History is taught once a week in Years 1-6 for an average of an hour each. The timings of these lessons however are flexible depending on the content being covered and the skills being developed. We carefully plan each unit thinking about the key concepts and vocabulary that will be covered. Knowledge maps are used to make links to the children’s prior and future learning to help them know where their learning fits in to the historical narrative. Across a unit of work, the children’s knowledge will be developed by them using their historical skills to obtain the information that they need. Each week, they will build upon this knowledge so that by the end of the unit the children can think and talk like historians.
The intended impact is for our children to have developed their listening and attention, communication and language skills and writing through a wide and rich history curriculum. We want to ensure that children at St Richard’s are working at the expected stage for their age and are equipped with historical knowledge and skills that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3. It is our intention that children will be inspired by our history curriculum, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.