The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Corpus Christi Catholic Primary school our intent is to provide a high quality History education that provides plethora of opportunities and experiences to gain knowledge, build upon previous knowledge and embed that knowledge. Our children will develop a sense of chronology, be able to investigate and interpret the past, build their knowledge of world history and communicate historically. Through history lessons and enrichment, our curriculum aims to fuel curiosity and wonder around our children’s own history, Britain’s history and that of the wider world. We want our children to gain a solid understanding about how and why our local community, cultures, Great Britain and the wider world have developed and changed over time. Utilising our children’s natural curiosities they will ask perceptive questions and develop their perception and judgement. Through History, leaners will discover truth about the past, giving them a better understanding of the present which in turn will enable then to make more informed and wiser decisions for creating a better future.
Our History curriculum is carefully sequenced, with children studying termly themes that will either have a history or geography driver. This ensures there is a complementary balance throughout each year that ensures breadth, depth and the opportunity to spiral and progress learning. Within our themes, our children are taught the knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they need to become Historians. To support our children to gain the specific knowledge that they need, each history topic has enrichment opportunities that bring the learning to life and make it more memorable to engage our children. This will be experiences such as visits to museums, live actors into school to act out the life of Romans or building model houses and setting them on fire to replicate the Great Fire of London. Vocabulary acquisition is essential to our children, because of this children are systematically introduced to new vocabulary, while having several opportunities throughout the year and key stage to revisit and use this vocabulary. It is important that the children become confident in understanding and using new theme vocabulary in order to comprehend and communicate the new learning which they experience. Our rationale and mapping out of topics is supported by our specific skills progression grids for History. These are divided into the categories of ‘Chronology’, ‘Investigating and Interpreting the Past’, ‘Building a Knowledge of World History’ and ‘Communicating Historically’. Skills within each area, build sequentially.
Building on from our children Early Years experiences and understanding of ‘past and present’, our Key Stage One curriculum develops and enhances children’s basic skills within History that lay the foundations of essential knowledge that allow our children to thrive in Key Stage two. Within Year One, the children will build on their experiences from early years focusing on developing their knowledge of their own personal history, researching and asking questions and finally widening this experience to learning about people beyond living memory and significant British events. For Year Two, the children will revisit and consolidate prior learning whilst then continuing to research people beyond living memory and significant events, while starting to consider how this impacts them today. These skills learnt in Key Stage One support the children in accessing their future learning in Key Stage Two where they will continue to build on their knowledge of history, how Britain has developed and changed over time which then spirals into a deeper understanding of world History, past civilisations and builds the bigger picture of the world they live in today. Key Stage Two children’s topics are sequenced chronologically as this is a key historical concept that we want our children to understanding. This is why topics are constantly referred back to and built upon from years three to six. Topics are carefully selected and ordered with consideration for the maturity of the topics, this is why our Year 6 children study ‘The Great Wars’ as they are then able to discuss the reasoning and impact of war in Britain.
Teachers use end of unit knowledge quizzes and half termly knowledge checks to assess children’s understanding of their current unit as well as their review previous learning. They then use these to inform future planning and interventions so that we are able to support children in filling in any gaps they may have and support children in retaining previous learning.
When our children leave us at the end of Year 6, they will have a secure knowledge and understanding of historical figures, events, civilisation, societies and historical periods. They will be able to communicate well historically, evaluate source materials orally and through writing in addition to thinking critically. Through attached values questions, children will have developed the maturity and understanding to debate and reflect on their own opinions and the opinions of others using their own critical thinking and ability to discern facts and reach conclusions. Through our focus on providing an exciting and enriching curriculum, our pupils will have developed a love for History and a desire to follow their own lines of enquiry to learn more about the past and the world around them.