“We are not the makers of history. We are made by history.”
Martin Luther King JR
The national curriculum outlines the following aims for History in schools:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short-and long-term timescales.
At Runnymede St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School, our aim is for children to develop a sound understanding of their local and national heritage and to provide children with the opportunity to investigate the past through a wide range of experiences. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about local, national and international history by broadening their knowledge of people, events and places in the past.
Our curriculum is driven through the following historical concepts (similarities and differences; significance; continuity and change; movement of people; cause and effect; concurrence) which are explored in a wide breadth of topics.
Our curriculum is arranged so that pupils return to the same concepts repeatedly, gradually building an understanding of them.
Our Medium Term-Planning details how pupils will be given opportunities to relate topics to previously studied topics to deepen understanding.
Our Year 3 and 4 pupils will be studying the primary humanities curriculum, Opening Worlds.
History teaching focuses on enabling pupils to think as historians. We are rolling out Opening Worlds in September 2022 to ensure that our pupils have a rich and broad vocabulary, a secure sense of place and period and a love of story. Our principal aim is to develop pupil’s knowledge, skills and understanding in history. We believe that pupils learn best when:
- They have access to, and are able to handle artefacts.
- They go on visits to sites of historical significance and places of interest.
- They have access to secondary sources such as books and photographs.
- They can talk to visitors/family members about their personal experience of the past.
- They listen to and interact with stories from the past.
- They are shown, or use independently, resources from the internet and videos.
- They are able to use non-fiction books for research.
- They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask as well as answer historical questions.
- They are given time to reflect on their own learning by giving them opportunities to create visual prompts enabling them to recall how they learned about this period, thus creating opportunities to identify links and relate periods of history together.
- We recognise that we have children of differing abilities in History and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities by matching the challenge of the task to the child’s ability. We achieve this by:
- Setting open-ended tasks which can have a variety of responses.
- Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child.
- Using Learning Support Assistants to support children individually or in groups.
- Organising children in such a way that they receive support from their peers.
Our curriculum reflects the rich history that our local area holds. Children are encouraged to consider the role they play and how they can make positive contributions to the local community. Learning visits and visitors are organised so that the children can develop a deeper understanding as to how our local area has changed.
At Runnymede St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School, we recognise the unique needs of each child and support them in reaching their human potential. We have a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. The impact of our History curriculum is measured in the experiences, confidence and competence of our children within the subject. We ensure children receive the experiences they require, both within and beyond the curriculum, to develop their skills and knowledge and become confident historians. By revisiting historical concepts, children will deepen their understanding and be able to identify links and be able to relate periods of history together.