Our History Curriculum
Intent - Why Do We Teach What We Teach?
At New Close we believe that it is crucial that our children develop an understanding of British history and values, the history of the wider world, and how it impacts upon us in the present. Our curriculum is developed in line with the National Curriculum, and is delivered in a way that is interesting, relevant to our children and links to other areas of learning, wherever possible. Our desire is that students build richly connected knowledge, vocabulary and skills that they can carry forward through their education and their lives. Our aim is that we inspire our children to become active and curious in regards to history. We want our pupils to develop the tools to evaluate information about the past and make informed judgements based on this, and help them understand what happened in the past, and how this shaped the world they live in. We believe it is crucial that children learn about the events and people that have shaped our nation and its values, as well as other civilizations through time.
Implementation - How Do We Teach What We Teach?
History is taught as a topic driver for every other term (years 1-6). Alongside this lead subject other linked subjects are taught, where appropriate, to provide a thematic approach. The curriculum has been designed to enable skills and knowledge for History to be built on sequentially and repeated systematically. In mapping out the curriculum, consideration has been given to prior knowledge and skills required between year groups, units of work and subjects. For example in year 5 and 6, in term 1 of the Year B cycle, children complete a Geography unit of work on South America. This puts into context a History unit on The Ancient Maya in term 2 before returning to a Geography unit based on the changing use of the Rainforest and climate change. In term 4, children apply the themes of an ancient civilization by looking at The Ancient Greeks. Children are expected to transfer/recall knowledge and apply skills across these units of work. This is replicated in all year groups across the Year A and B cycle.
Progression of knowledge and skills is mapped out, which forms the core of our units of work and learning objectives. The Rising Stars schemes of work, is used as the basis of our work. This is adapted to ensure it meets the needs of our New Close children and each class that we teach.
Within History and the topic there is a link to key concepts for the term and the big school question. This promotes deeper thinking on the theme and gives children the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge taught. Each topic starts with a ‘hook’ and ends with an authentic outcome, which reflects the term’s learning. During the unit of work, children are given opportunities to recap on knowledge learnt. Knowledge organisers are being developed to support the recall and retention of important facts, they also provide opportunities for learning to be linked between units. In addition, children are enabled to broaden their understanding of the subject/topic by accessing a range of other experiences (trips, visitors, hooks, authentic outcomes). These experiences are mapped out on the class annual overviews.
Impact - How Do We Know What Our Pupils Have Learnt And How Well They Have Learnt It?
Assessment of history at New Close is a multi- facetted approach. We need to recognise the limits of placing any summative judgement against the children’s knowledge of history because the validity of this data is relatively low. We equally need to be wary of purely looking at the outcomes from within a lesson, and judge the performance of children, rather than what has been committed to long-term memory. Because key historical knowledge is unlikely to be revisited, the vast majority of our efforts within assessment should be towards responsive teaching, in order that misconceptions and are addressed at the point they are made. However we can use our ‘Need to Know’ facts as a barometer to assess long-term learning.