At Knowle CE Primary Academy, our pupils are passionate about history. We aim for a high quality expansive history curriculum which inspires in pupils a curiosity and captivation about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History is brought to life, enabling children to explore like detectives and work like historians. Children are given the opportunity to study a variety of primary and secondary sources, make predictions, build their historical knowledge and develop key history skills. ‘Big questions’ provide children with a historical enquiry to follow and to help build knowledge.
Knowle pupils are curious about the past and keen to understand how and why events occurred. This naturally leads them in to investigating why people interpret the past in different ways. As a school, we believe that high-quality history lessons encourage critical thinking, the ability to weigh evidence, the chance to form strong arguments, and allow pupils to develop perspective and judgement. Over their years at Knowle, pupils experience a rich curriculum, learning about key historical events in Britain’s past and how they shaped our present, as well as learning about historical civilisations and periods across the world. Projects provide highly productive opportunities to use and apply literacy, numeracy and computing skills whilst learning history through a range of exciting, creative activities. Out of classroom learning is essential and many stimulating varied ‘beyond the classroom’ learning experiences regularly take place enabling children to deepen their understanding of who and what has shaped our world today.
Our curriculum intent – the knowledge and skills we expect our pupils to learn – can be found in our Long Term Plans and Medium Term Plans (see below)
Based upon the National Curriculum and the individual needs of our children, we have created our own History Curriculum which sets out key learning for each year group. Each year group will carry out ‘Deep Dives’ into given history topics and this will be further supplemented by
opportunities to study smaller units throughout the year. We alternate our History and Geography ‘Deep Dives’ to ensure that our children receive a balanced teaching of the humanities. Each unit focuses on a ‘Big Question’, allowing children to follow a historical enquiry to build knowledge systematically and cumulatively, so they are able to answer their question at the end of the unit. Our big questions and historical enquiries underpin our knowledge-rich curriculum. Our Medium Term Planning identifies the substantive knowledge and key vocabulary children will learn within each unit of work.
Key historical concepts sit at the heart of our curriculum and these help children to develop their knowledge of how we investigate the past. These concepts are continuity and change, cause, consequence, similarity and difference, significance, sources and evidence, and historical interpretation.
Our History Curriculum has also been designed to ensure children repeatedly revisit key substantive concepts that run through the school, helping to thread the curriculum together. Children are able to attach knowledge to these concepts and build understanding as they progress through the curriculum. These substantive concepts are community and culture, conflict and invasion, and exploration and invention.
Timelines are displayed in each classroom and teachers are encouraged to reference these when appropriate during all lessons to help to develop an awareness of chronology and to revisit previous learning.
The children are involved in an immersive education experience when learning about history through the use of role play, artefacts, visitors and trips. For example, to support the topic of Romans in Year Four, the trip to Lunt Fort gives children the opportunity to re-enact the Roman invasion and to bring the World War Two topic to life in Year Six, children take part in a mock D-Day battle on the school playground.
Our History Curriculum has rich opportunities for cross curricular learning and links are made in particular with English and Geography. The school’s SMILE Agenda is evident throughout our curriculum. For example, in Year Six, children develop their relationship with the local British Legion, undertake several fund raising events and participate in a remembrance service by laying a wreath at the cenotaph in the centre of our village.
Assessment is carried out regularly in all year groups and recorded against our own objectives on Insight Tracking.