Our History curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. We recognise that new learning is fragile, so our approach is generative and sticky, enabling our pupils to make links between new and existing knowledge to aid long term retention. Learning is sequenced to ensure that there are opportunities for spaced learning and links between curriculum areas are explicit allowing children to build a detailed schema for across different eras of history.
We address five main historical skills: chronological understanding; knowledge and understanding of past events, people and changes in the past; historical interpretation; organisation and communication and historical enquiry. The progression map objectives are then broken down into topics in our long-term planning, with each topic addressing a different or continuous aspect of these skills. Class teachers then use the long and medium-term plans to deliver progressive and engaging lessons. Our topics are mainly based units of work from the Rising Stars Voyagers scheme, although these are adapted by class teachers to fit our specific school intent. Some topics are specific to our school, for example, Year 6’s local history study of the impact of WW1 on Orford.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, History is taught termly through 6 stand alone. Additional opportunities are planned throughout the year for the enrichment of our curriculum, for example, planned immersive days and visits give context to the learning.
Within the curriculum, the key knowledge and skills for each year group can be seen in our progression maps. These have then been broken down into topics in our long and medium-term planning, which class teachers then use to plan progressive and engaging lessons. We apply a progressive model of history teaching, through which children develop a coherent and chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people; historical interpretation and the skills of enquiry.
By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. We expect them to be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and Benin.
- Language development
Within History, oracy opportunities are planned into the curriculum that allow children to develop the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional aspects of learning. Opportunities are planned that allow children to debate, present, explain, discuss key aspects of History and be able to give their opinions on all aspects taught.
Dialogic teaching empowers students to challenge each other’s views, expand ideas and build and evaluate arguments. We want the children to challenge each other’s views that will lead them to a deeper understanding of the topics we are teaching. Group work, discussion and debate is planned in and central to our teaching of History.
Development of vocabulary in History is vital in them closing the vocabulary gap that research shows exists between them and their peers from more affluent areas. Vocabulary is explicitly planned, taught and assessed, ensuring a thorough grasp of new language. New vocabulary is collected during a topic so that it can then be referred back to in subsequent lessons, promoting sticky learning and scaffolding all children in retaining key language and information.
Reading is a crucial part of the development of vocabulary and of language development. A range of quality primary and secondary text based sources are used within lessons across the school to enrich the children’s experience and to promote the application of reading skills.
Our approach throughout the curriculum is generative, enabling pupils to make links between new and existing knowledge to aid retention. Development of both disciplinary and substantive knowledge is well sequenced to ensure that children know and remember more. This is shown within our progression maps for History.
New knowledge is organised in such a way that ensures cognitive strategies, such as spaced repetition, are well thought through and planned in. Following our whole school model for high quality teaching and learning (Appendix 1), we ensure that teaching strategies allow the children to learn more and remember more. The curriculum is organised to enable children to build webs of knowledge (schemas), with explicit links being drawn between new and existing knowledge. These links are highlighted within medium term plans to ensure that staff explicitly make these links when planning lessons.
When knowledge is secure and links have been made, children are encouraged to take this knowledge deeper and apply this critically in different situations. Assessments are made using open ended assessment tasks that allow children to take learning deeper, demonstrating their critical thinking skills.
Low stakes quizzes are planned into Medium Term planning and used regularly to ensure that knowledge is remembered and retained. These form part of our assessment for learning in History.
While the teaching of disciplinary knowledge is key to progress in subjects, children require the opportunity to turn this knowledge to practice and apply skills and fieldwork gives our children opportunities to apply these skills. Our Curriculum planning ensures that these opportunities are embedded for all children. Skills that are taught in History are progressive and highlighted on our curriculum progression map.
- Attitudes and values
To develop the children’s growth mindset, rather than simply praising success, we praise effort and persistence. We believe learning should be a challenge and within History, our children are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. In History, we want learning to be challenging and encourage the children to take risks and ask and investigate their own hypothese through fieldwork. Our approach to our curriculum aims to build self-esteem, a respect for self and others, kindness and resilience, with staff modelling across the curriculum how to deal with challenge and adversity.
Local, Societal and Global
- As an Inclusion Quality Mark flagship school, inclusivity is key to our culture as a school. Within the curriculum, we aim to celebrate difference and diversity. We encourage pupils to explore key figures from History from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Studies of global history ensure that misconceptions about the world and diversity are challenged (such as the study of Syrian Soldier living in Britain in the Roman topic). Strategies are used (As highlighted below) to ensure that all children can make good progress in History.
- Teachers apply a range of strategies within lessons to enable the children to become invested in their education. Practical investigations and LYFTA sessions are selectively used by teaching staff to provide a purpose and structure for curriculum learning.
- Developing a love of History
We also seek to provide a range of enrichment opportunities for History to cement knowledge, skills and behaviours. These may vary from extra curricular activities for specific year groups to visits from historians, to museums and galleries/installations. Exciting high quality sources are planned and used across the curriculum. We ensure that narrative is a key focus in our history as narrative and this is built into the teaching of the curriculum with role play and sessions where the teacher is in role.
Formative assessment is an integral part of daily lessons and is first and foremost the essence of helping making our pupils make instant progress in their skills of historical enquiry. This is done through a mixture of high-level questioning, discussion, Oracy activities and written work.
We use live marking and feedback to enable teachers to target next steps for pupils effectively. Opportunities for children to review and improve their learning are embedded into each lesson. Children are given the opportunity to evaluate their own work, and that of their peers. During and on completion of a piece of work, the teacher responds, identifying areas for development. Children’s work is valued, celebrated and displayed around the class and school.
At the end of each term, a written report is given to parents that show whether a child is achieving the required standard in History, and these are discussed with parents with strategies to move learning forward being discussed.
Tracking of key groups allows for a better structure to learning and allows the history subject coordinator to adapt the curriculum where needed.
Where there is a specific area of learning that a significant group needs reinforcing, this will be done in the “Catch up week” on the timetable.
SEND and Inclusion
At Meadowside we have high expectations of all our pupils. However, we recognise that for some pupils, additional support is needed to ensure they can access tasks and so that they can retain key learning. Tasks are adapted or scaffolded in such a was so as to ensure that they are provide suitable challenges that focus on the history and historical enquiry and remove any barriers for learning that stop learning in this subject. Teachers use their pupil passports and appropriate assessments to help inform their planning. This way, a person-centered approach ensures progress is made and makes their learning a personalised experience.
At Meadowside, we want all learning to support independence wherever possible. Teachers will plan lessons so that pupils with SEND are able to successfully access the key content of the History curriculum and ensure that no ceiling is placed on their learning and what they can achieve. Promoting independence, we allow the children to feel a sense of equality and belonging in their classroom environment.
Where appropriate, the following strategies could be used for pupils with SEND:
- Opportunities for overlearning key knowledge.
- Technology used for recording information. Video recording of work if writing is an issue/use of speechnotes programme or Clicker 7/a scribe/dictation tool on ipad.
- Web based learning for practice and learning of key knowledge.
- Use of concrete resources
- Voice recordings of step by step instructions
- Voice recordings of responses.
- Screen shots and photographs
- Voice recordings
- Peer support for mathematical skills
- Modeling of work specifically for a small group of children.
- Vocab mats highlighting specific vocabulary for a task
- Broken down instructions for a task.
- Sentence stems from board/worksheet
- Task organiser
- Use of concrete resources
- Further questioning
- Additional focused explanations
- Precision teaching of key knowledge.
- Additional oracy opportunities.
- Peer support.
Additional strategies for pupils will be highlighted as a part of the SEND strategy meetings and in consultation with other professionals. These form part of a child’s pupil passport and support teachers in removing barriers for learning.
Where a child struggles with key aspects of learning, it is crucial that we highlight what is key knowledge for a child to move on with their learning. Progression maps highlight which knowledge is the basis for other knowledge later on within the History curriculum. Staff therefore provide time for overlearning of this key knowledge where it is deemed appropriate for these children. Support and CPD is given to staff to ensure they have a good understanding of what learning is key to move on. These children are discussed regularly with the SENCo.
Designated Provision and Development Centre
For children working within the Designated Provision and the Development Centre Progression in historical skills is mapped out using our whole school progression document. This tracks progression from 2 year olds right up to year 6. It is acknowledged that at any one time children within the Development Centre will be working on skills from many different parts of this map. However, as these skills are built on each other, the class teacher will take this into account and ensure teaching is well matched to pupils working at these different levels. When teaching a particular historical research skill, they are always built upon the foundation of other skills which will support children in working at that level. Tasks are then adapted to ensure every pupil can make progress and show their historical understanding.
The chosen topics for our DP children will follow a three year cycle in DP1 and a four year cycle in DP2. We ensure pupils within the DPs receive equity of access to our curriculum. Unfortunately, as this is taught cyclically to different year groups, this can’t be taught in chronological order. Therefore, the class teacher will make great effort to focus on this chronology and link to previous learning for each year group. Throughout their time at Meadowside, all children have access to each of the history topics from our KS1 and KS2 curriculums as shown in our long-term plan. Within these topics, Key knowledge is carefully selected and built into the medium-term planning with key pieces of knowledge chosen and taught to the children. This core knowledge is focused on the areas highlighted earlier in this document.
As with all SEND children, focus for the teacher will be on scaffolding and task adaptation to ensure that the children can access this learning in a way that suits their learning needs.
Children within the Designated Provision are assessed against the History Progression Map to highlight which age group they are working within. Intervention and teaching is used to close the gaps and to ensure that they have a foundation to build further skills and knowledge. This is evaluated termly to ensure that progression is mapped and this will inform future planning.
Opportunities for higher attainers to take learning deeper are planned throughout the curriculum. Open ended tasks and high quality first teaching ensure that learning is taken deeper. Enrichment opportunities are planned throughout the year. Opportunities for children to explore careers in history are planned into the curriculum and accessed where appropriate. Visiting speakers, particularly those from similar backgrounds to our pupils are encouraged to come in and support classes in delivering key areas of history.
CPD for staff
CPD is planned for staff throughout the year and opportunities are planned into our yearly training in line with our school development plan. Staff are encouraged to also complete their own research. Medium term planning includes “Mastery For Teaching” recapping subject knowledge that will be needed to take learning deeper in History. Where appropriate, staff will also find this out by asking questions to staff.
Monitoring of History
The monitoring cycle is set out by the senior leadership team at the beginning of each academic year. Monitoring includes book looks, lesson visits, learning walks, pupil/staff voice surveys and guidance days (completed in conjunction with other schools withing TCAT). All monitoring undertaken serves to improve our practice, with the aim of bettering the outcomes for our pupils. Subject leader time is given to the History Lead half termly that allows them to meet with the curriculum lead and complete monitoring.
Transition to KS3
At Meadowside, we work closely with our feeder secondary schools to ensure a quality of provision that gives our pupils firm foundations for year 6. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 regularly access History transition lessons at the high school that allow them to show the knowledge that they have learnt and to ensure that learning in KS3 successfully builds on the foundations laid at KS2. We work closely with them to provide additional opportunities for more able pupils.
At Meadowside, we ensure that all students are exposed to rich learning experiences that:
- Enable all students to make good progress in their design knowledge, skills and vocabulary from whatever the students starting point may have been. We define good progress as knowing more and remembering more. It is the widening of knowledge, skills, understanding and behaviours.
- Children have self-efficacy and see themselves as historians. They take an interest in the aspects of history which enable our children to analyse the things around them.
- We aim to inspire our children to become the next generation of designers, engineers and environmentalists who love, look after and respect themselves, their communities and the world around them.
- Our pupils experience a language rich historical experience which enables them to apply their knowledge as articulate citizens of the future discussing research, knowledge and developments.
- for our pupils to be resilient when exploring historical tasks
- for pupils leaving us to be well prepared for the next stage in their lives, particularly for the further study of History at KS3.