We believe that 'history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.'
The study of History will encourage children of primary age to develop a sense of the past and to foster an awareness of the differences between different societies and periods and to consider the changes and causes of change over time.
In History lessons we try to develop the following skills:
· Chronological awareness
· Historical Knowledge and Understanding
· Interpretations of history
· Historical Enquiry
· Organisation and Communication
Visitors to school and visits to places of historical interest are valuable resources. They are an important feature of acquiring both an historical imagination and a desire to find out more about the past. The emphasis is on daily life in these time periods and where possible to make links with the local area, Britain and the wider world. Pupils are encouraged to develop their independent enquiry skills through asking questions about the past and using a variety of sources and are taught how to consider reliability of evidence.
There is a consistent approach to the implementation of our Curriculum at Wolsey House Primary School. A collaborative planning approach has been adopted to develop strong cross-curricular links and ‘hooks for learning’ which aim to excite and intrigue children to find out more about events and people from the past. Amendments in Long term and short term planning have been made to enhance the learning experience and ensure educational visits or ‘Wow days’ are planned for in each year group to build knowledge and cultural capital, pupils need to succeed in life.
We ensure that all teachers are focused on building the knowledge, skills and understanding of our pupils and that they do so through the use of a ‘big question’ which is an over-arching theme that stimulates open-ended discussion, creating a community of enquirers. This fundamentally underpins planning to ensure teachers are supporting pupils to acquire new knowledge through a series of different tasks that provide a meaningful purpose for learning and opportunity to develop deep thinkers. This involves drawing comparisons and making connections between different time periods and their own lives. All staff are committed to delivering high quality, compelling learning experiences, which include outdoor learning opportunities, hands on experience and handling of historical artefacts to support the teaching of the curriculum. Where a cross-curricular approach is adopted to establish deeps links with other subjects, History is still taught discretely.
The History curriculum at Wolsey House is taught in chronological order, so children gain a cumulative chronological awareness of events that have occurred in the past and how they relate to current learning. This provides an opportunity to revisit historical concepts at regular intervals to assess whether content is firmly embedded. Alongside our planning, progression maps are used to outline key skills and knowledge children must acquire and master at different checkpoints throughout their learning journey. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British History from the Stone Age to the present day. Time has been allocated to review and improve curriculum plans to develop better sequences of learning that provide coverage and clearly outline a progression of historical skills and knowledge, as children move up through the school. The use of ‘sticky words’ allows children to understand and use specialist vocabulary. The new and revised curriculum at Wolsey House Primary School gives pupils opportunities to revisit, apply and commit their new learning to long-term working memory.
The impact of the new and revised curriculum has resulted in a number of benefits. Outcomes have been generated from staff questionnaires and pupil voice interviews. It has been noted the curriculum is personalised to address children’s interests and provide them with everyday experiences, which most are not provided with in their home-life. We are in the process of delivering a language-rich curriculum through the use of specialist vocabulary which has greater emphasis on building children’s oracy skills. The use of ‘big questions’ has produced deep and meaningful links between subjects and refocussed teachers’ attention to confidently knowing the Historical knowledge and understanding, children are expected to know at the end of each year group.
Outcomes in Curriculum and Extended Writing books have evidenced the use of specialist vocabulary and children’s acquisition of key knowledge. Children are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas and at whole class level children compare knowledge they have at the start and end of every topic through the use of a KWL grid. Emphasis here is placed on analytical thinking and questioning, where pupils explore their own lines of Historical enquiry documented on the KWL grid. A ‘Leicester project,’ which was introduced in the Autumn term provided further relevant and contextual learning, engaging positive role models from the community (local artists, authors, success of LCFC) for children to learn from. Children have established greater ownership of their learning, generating questions and making decisions about various aspects of their own learning as opposed to having content dictated to them. It has resulted in a sharpened focus on fostering children’s interests to promote higher levels of pupil enjoyment and engagement. Changes in planning content and coverage have better captured amenities within our local area to allow learners access to full and enriched learning experiences.