‘To strive for excellence in learning and all that we do’
The study of history involves engaging pupils in investigating questions about people and events in the past in order to enable them to better understand their lives today and for a future as more informed and enlightened citizens. Through the study of history pupils also develop a wide range of critical thinking skills, which enable them to understand the contested nature of knowledge and to distinguish between ‘fact’ and subjectivity when it comes to reaching conclusions and making judgements about the past.
With this in mind, we have established a school curriculum for history as an entitlement for all pupils that is:
We adopt an enquiry focused approach to learning and teaching in history which develops our pupils as young historians. Through enquiry our pupils not only build subject knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at critical thinking, the use of specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts. We structure learning in history through big question led enquiries about relevant historical topics, places and themes. Our curriculum is therefore knowledge rich rather than content heavy as we recognise that if we attempt to teach historical topics, places, themes and issues in their entirety we restrict opportunities for pupils to master and apply critical thinking skills and achieve more challenging subject outcomes. Our learning, and teaching, in history is interactive and practical allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently. Wherever possible we provide our pupils with contemporaneous historical evidence including narratives, paintings, photographs, artefacts, and data in the form of censuses and films to analyse and from which to reach conclusions and make judgements. Similarly, we provide varied and differentiated ways for pupils to record the outcomes of their work including the use of PowerPoint, concept mapping, annotated diagrams, improvised drama and the application of a wide range of writing genres. Only in this way will knowledge become embedded and memorable, to ensure that our pupils can build on what they know and understand from one year to the next. The schemes of work for each historical enquiry highlight both the objectives and anticipated outcomes of the investigation.
Each enquiry which forms our programme of learning and teaching in history sets clear objectives and outcomes for the pupil in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition. Our pupils leave our school with high aspirations, long-lasting historical knowledge, and the skills to enable them to investigate challenging historical enquiries independently, using a range of sources. Their long-lasting historical knowledge will be broad and balanced, relevant, and diverse. They will be prepared with the necessary knowledge and historical skills for studying history at secondary school.
Miss Rachel Grisley - History Lead