Our Approach to teaching History

Intent

At SS Mary and Johns Primary Catholic Academy we believe that a high-quality History education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. We believe that our curriculum should be meaningful and relevant to the pupils we teach.

Our aims are that our children gain:

  • A deep and sustainable learning
  • A good sense of chronology of events from the past.
  • An ability to ask historical questions about the past and understand how this has impacted upon the world we live in today. 
  • An ability to build on previous knowledge and learning.
  • An ability to reason about a concept and make connections through different time periods.
  • A good knowledge of local History and how where we live has changed over time.
  • A good understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Implementation

At SS Mary and John’s we believe that progress is made through securing prior knowledge and building upon it. Each History lesson starts with a review of prior knowledge to enable the children to make strong meaningful links in their learning including the use of timelines so children are able to build a chronological knowledge of where there learning fits into the past and how it links to what they already know. We use an enquiry approach to learning where units are built around a key question with individual lessons being lead through subsequent questions. Historical vocabulary is introduced, modelled and reinforced throughout a unit of work through definition, repetition and application. Pupils are provided with many wider opportunities to learn and apply new skills outside the classroom through concrete experiences and educational visits. Each class should be provided with at least one opportunity for a Historical visit per year

School has a long term overview of the History units that are taught each term in each year group. One hour of History will be taught each week in Autumn One, Spring One and Summer One.

Prior to each unit of work the teacher will introduce the unit objects through the use of a unit marker which includes the big question, key objectives and subject specific vocabulary, recording any of the children’s own questions using post it notes and working wall displays. The teacher will then use this information to inform planning based on prior knowledge and the pupils’ questions of enquiry and will be revisited throughout the unit of work.

Staff have been given an MTP from Rising Stars which they adapt in line with their teaching and needs of their cohort. These MTPs are also adapted to provide meaningful learning to history of the local area. Each lesson links to the National Curriculum and the progression mapping documents. Within this planning, vocabulary, resources and cross-curricular links are identified.

Activities will take into account the abilities of all pupils, as well as their age. Each History lesson is evaluated on the short term Google Drive planning document to support assessment for learning, allowing teachers to plan the following lesson.

Short term planning takes the form of lesson slides or notebook pages which include feedback time, key objectives, success criteria, key vocabulary, prior learning, differentiation, challenge and next steps. 

Practical work is evidenced through written work and pictorial evidence which is shared in the evidence folder, by year group on Google Drive.

The Early Years explore History themes and content through the Understanding of the World strand of the EYFS curriculum. As children learn about the world around them they find out about the past through talking to parents, grandparents and friends and they develop an interest in their own story as well as stories in their family – this is the beginning of developing an understanding of the past and helps children to learn how other people are different from them. They are assessed according to the Development Matters Attainment targets.

Impact

The curriculum will enable teachers to consistently plan and deliver lessons of the highest standard and at the end of each year, children will achieve age related expectations in History. They will retain the knowledge and skills learnt from each unit of work and make clear links in there learning. 

As children progress through the school, the children will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The children will become critical thinkers and gain an ability to question and reason about the past. Pupils will also gain an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time