St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School
This policy outlines the purpose, nature and management of the history taught and learnt in our school. It has been adopted by the staff of St Winifred’s Primary School. This policy outlines the guiding principles by which this school will implement history in the National Curriculum. It is reviewed periodically.
Rationale for History teaching
History should be concerned with stimulating the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We aim for the children to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach the children to investigate these past events and, by so doing, develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving.
Aims for the teaching of History at St Winifred’s Primary School
At St Winifred’s Primary School our intention is to provide quality teaching
and learning of history. We aim:
- To promote an interest in the past
- To develop an understanding of events over time and in a chronological structure
- To learn about the roles that individuals and events have played in shaping modern society
- To develop an ability to investigate and interpret different versions of past events
- To learn to study historical evidence and to ask and answer questions about the past
- To develop the ability to communicate historical knowledge and understanding using a variety of techniques
- To encourage children to understand other people, their beliefs, thoughts, values and experiences
- To develop an awareness of the world around them
- To develop an understanding of society and their place within it, so that they acquire a sense of their cultural heritage
- To develop a knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world
Attitude and skills
We also seek to encourage children to develop the following skills:
- Interpretation of secondary and primary sources
- Historical enquiry
- Communicating history dramatically, verbally and narratively
The Role of the History Co-ordinator is:
- Taking the lead in the development, evaluation and amendment of schemes of work as and when necessary
- Acting as a consultant to colleagues on resources, visits, visitors, curriculum changes, classroom teaching and learning ideas
- Monitoring and evaluating pupils’ work, pupils’ views about the subject, displays and teachers’ planning
- Writing School development plan and a SEF
- Auditing resources and ordering resources when needed
- Keeping up to date with developments in history and disseminating information to the rest of the teaching staff
- Leading staff meetings as appropriate
- Attending relevant in-service training and prompting others about relevant training
History in the Foundation Stage is taught under the umbrella of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ from the EYFS. The children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that helps them to make sense of the world. The pupils are encouraged to talk about their families and past and present events in their lives. They are beginning to gain knowledge and understanding of the world through:
- Listening to stories and memories of older people
- Role play activities
- Discussing events in the past and their own personal lives
- Sequencing events to gain a sense of time
Key Stage 1
The National Curriculum Programme of Study at Key Stage 1 focuses on developing children’s awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. Children should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at Key Stage 2.
Pupils should be taught about:
- Changes within living memory
- Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
Key Stage 2
The National Curriculum Programme of Study at Key Stage 2 should continue to allow children to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. Children should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
In planning to ensure the progression, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.
Pupils should be taught about:
- Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
- The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
- The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
- A local history study
- A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
- The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300
Recording of History
Pupils are encouraged to record their work using a variety of methods and therefore communicate their findings to others. These may include written or verbal reports, charts, collage, models, pictures and role play activities. Examples of children’s work will be retained to provide evidence of on-going history, including photographic evidence of displays, presentations, visiting speakers and historical visits.
The history curriculum follows units selected from the Focus Education programme of work which is annually reviewed to ensure current initiatives are included.
Planning is completed on the school medium term plan pro-forma to illustrate skill development, lesson content, learning objectives, resources, differentiation and assessment. As we understand that there are many different history abilities in each class, we ensure that each unit of work has sufficient differentiation to allow all children to work at their level of challenge. Planning is monitored regularly and copies are kept by the history co-ordinator.
History is taught in alternate half terms, alongside geography. History is taught once a week.
Cross Curricular links in History
History contributes significantly to the teaching of Literacy in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that are used in Literacy lessons are historical in nature. Children develop oracy through discussing historical questions or presenting their findings to the rest of the class. They develop their writing ability by composing reports and letters and through using writing frames.
History teaching contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through doing activities such as time-lines. Children learn to interpret information presented in graphical or diagrammatic form.
We use computing in history teaching where appropriate. Children use computing in history to enhance their skills in data handling and in presenting written work, and they research information using the Internet. Each teacher ensures it is used as a teaching tool where appropriate, and provides opportunities for children to also use it.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
History contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social, citizenship and health education. Children develop self-confidence by having opportunities to explain their views on a number of social questions such as how society should respond to poverty. They learn how to recognise and challenge stereotypes. They learn how society is made up of people from different cultures and start to develop tolerance and respect for others.
Children’s progress should be monitored through observation and by using planning and learning objectives. The History Co-ordinator has designed appropriate self-assessment sheets for each topic covered. They are written in child speak and are completed at the end of each term by the children. The History Co-ordinator will keep a copy of assessment data. The assessment sheets then inform teachers and future planning.
Feedback to pupils should be provided on their attainment against the objectives of history. Pupils are encouraged to improve their own learning performance through the school marking policy.
Monitoring and Evaluation
History will be monitored throughout the school by the History Co-ordinator who will be responsible for gathering samples of curriculum work.
The History Co-ordinator will also monitor history books and schemes of work to ensure that the Programmes of Study are being effectively taught and match the needs and abilities of the pupils.
Lessons ideally will also be monitored to help promote quality of learning and standards of achievement in history.
- We plan our classroom activities to challenge and involve all pupils appropriately, according to age and capability, ethnic diversity, gender and language background
- We are aware of different learning styles and the need to allow pupils to be able to work in their preferred learning styles for some of the time
- We use materials for teaching which avoid stereo-typing, and bias, towards race, gender, role or disability
- We deal with such issues clearly and sensitively when they arise
At our school we teach history to all children, whatever their ability. History forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our history teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels. We use a range of strategies to support pupils. A few of these, particularly relevant to History are:
- The use of appropriate vocabulary at varying levels of difficulty during lessons
- Modified text passages as expected in other curriculum areas
- Different levels of written or oral questions for pupils investigating photographic or other visual material
- Careful use of support for pupils with English as an additional language
For our gifted and talented pupils we will expect:
- Teachers to provide teaching and learning experiences that encourage pupils to think creatively, explore and develop ideas, and try different approaches. Pupils should be encouraged to set their own questions, offer ideas, suggest solutions or explanations, and reflect on what they have heard, seen or done in order to clarify their thoughts.
- Greater independence in working, e.g. a pupil to be able to carry out their own simple historical enquiry.
- Provide real-life research and presentation opportunities, for example carrying out interviews with local people and collating the results.
- Avoid giving gifted pupils additional writing tasks and encourage them instead to communicate their understanding in a variety of ways, giving them responsibility for choosing and evaluating the most appropriate method.
- Provide opportunities within history for pupils to develop their skills in other areas, such as intrapersonal skills (for example, opportunities to use initiative), and interpersonal skills (for example, leadership and group membership). These opportunities also relate to the key skills of working with others and improving own learning and performance.
Resources are centrally stored, largely in historically themed boxes. All staff may access them, but they are responsible for their prompt and orderly return.
The school’s resource base contains artefacts as well as published materials. The new resources enrich and stimulate children’s historical enquiry. Resources held include artefacts, primary and secondary source documents, photographs, video and audio tapes and computer software. A full inventory of resources is held by the History Co-ordinator.