History

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Marcus Garvey

At Van Gogh Primary, children will learn the skills and processes necessary to find out more about the recent and distant past of their families, the country they live in and the world they inhabit. Children will be equipped with a broad and rich curriculum which will provide them with facts, dates and accounts of the past from primary and secondary sources. To deepen their experience pupils will be provided with artefacts, photographs, oral and written sources. Over their school experience children will be taught to link historical knowledge with historical processes and explore events with curiosity, building arguments, weighing evidence and articulating their own ideas. 

This development will be built up over time through ensuring that historical skills are taught in depth over the years and more complex sources are used progressively. Children will revisit previous knowledge either to make sense of new learning chronologically, through learning about key themes from a different perspective or looking at an area of history over time such as Crime and Punishment. 

Creating timelines will be central to the children`s experience in order to understand when historical events occurred. These will be an intrinsic part of each topic as they will support children to create links and deepen their understanding of what went before and after. 

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Key Curriculum Principles

1. The Bigger Picture: Progression of knowledge should be clear.  The knowledge that children will learn through each history unit is clear and develops their understanding of key dates, major world events and the effects these had in the cultural and technological advancement of nations.  Creating and using timelines will be central to children’s experience in understanding chronology and world events these will also form an intrinsic part of each unit of work. 

2. Enrichment: Pupils will develop the skills and process necessary to find out more about the recent and distant past of their families, the country they live in and the world they inhabit.  Children will be equipped with a broad and rich curriculum which will provide them with facts, dates and accounts of the past from primary and secondary sources.

3. Deliberate Practice:  Pupils will be taught to look at and use reliable primary and secondary sources.  They will begin to evaluate answers by thinking.

  • Have I got all the evidence I need?

  • Is it a reliable source?

  • Is there any bias to it?

  • What is the best way to present what I have learned?

4. Oracy: Knowledge organisers will support children in learning to use specific language related to the period of history they are studying.  Being able to use this vocabulary will help them explain their ideas, engage in debate, formulate their own ideas and be able to express a viewpoint.

Implementation

How is History taught in KS1?  

History is taught over four terms in the academic year.   The History units are covered in Term 1, Term 2, Term 5 and Term 6.  Teachers should be teaching one lesson a week although, it is up to year groups to decide whether they wish to block all lessons or teach them over the course of the term.  Work should be completed in History/Geography books.  The layout in books should be:

  • A cover page for the unit of work

  • Knowledge organizer 

  • Mind map (What we know and what we have found out – same format as Science)

  • A timeline for period of history being studied (constructed as a whole class task and displayed)

An enquiry question should be used at the start of the unit to help direct pupils thinking and search for evidence. At the end of the unit it is expected that pupils will revisit the mind map and complete in red pen what they have found out.  They should be able to write simple sentences with some technical vocabulary. 

How is History taught in KS2?

History is taught over four terms in the academic year.  The History units are covered in Term 1, Term 2, Term 5 and Term 6.  Teachers should be teaching one lesson a week although, it is up to year groups to decide whether they wish to block all lessons or teach them over the course of the term.  Work should be completed in History/Geography books.  The layout in books should be:

  • A cover page for the unit of work

  • Knowledge organizer 

  • Mind map (What we know and what we have found out – same format as Science)

  • A timeline for period of history being studied (Pupils to be encouraged to do this independently)

An enquiry question is to be used at the start of the unit as a means of looking for evidence.  At the end of the unit the question to be revisited and answered using evidence gained throughout the teaching. At the end of the unit it is expected that pupils will revisit the mind map and complete ‘What we have found out’ in red pen.  They should be able to write in detailed sentences and paragraphs using technical vocabulary. 

SEND and Inclusion

As in all areas of the curriculum, teachers should deliver ‘quality-first’ teaching and differentiate to support children with barriers to learning. On an individual basis, teachers should consider any limitations that a child has in accessing the planned lesson and provide resources, word banks, pictorial clues, adapted tasks and adult support.

With more able pupils the use of open-ended questions should be used to promote deeper thinking and promoting pupils to use prior learning to formulate ideas.  

Feedback and Assessment of learning

It is vital that all pupil are given feedback on the work they have completed.  Immediate feedback is the most valuable as it gives the opportunity to rectify and improve immediately.  Feedback can be marked on the work or given verbally however it should be evident that the pupil has responded to verbal feedback in the form of editing and improving.  Teachers should give feedback in conjunction with the ‘Feedback and marking policy’. 

Mind maps should be completed in red pen at the end of the unit with all the knowledge that pupils have learnt.

Staff professional learning

Observations, book looks and learning walks will be used to support and develop consistency and good practice across the school,  

Cross curricular links

Where possible, teachers should plan for and promote the cross-curricular links between History and other areas of the curriculum:

  • Math – Dates (numbers), chronology, place value

  • English - Essays, reports, sentence formation, diary entries, newspapers, 

  • Science – Understanding materials, fossils

  • Speaking & Listening – Debating, justifying, presenting, questioning

  • Art – Paintings, drawings, sketches

  • DT – Recreating objects/artefacts 

  • Geography – Countries of the world, climate and weather

Curriculum Overview

Year 1

All about me

How toys have changed over time

Space including famous people in the space race

Year 2

Christopher Columbus – Hero or villain

How have Arctic explorers changed over time?

The Great Fire of London

Gunpowder Treason and Plot

Year 3

Stone Age 

Iron Age 

Romans

Year 4

Victorians

Windrush

Egyptians

Year 5

Anglo Saxons

Vikings

Ancient Greece

Year 6

World War Two 

Crime and punishment

Mayans vs Aztecs

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