The intent of the history curriculum at Grayswood CE Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest, curiosity, knowledge and understanding about the past. Through the curriculum, we ensure pupils gain a knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We teach children a sense of chronology and support pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each year group, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of History. We develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries.
History teaching should equip children to ask questions, think critically, develop independence, weigh evidence, and develop perspective and judgement. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as “How do we know?” about information they are given. As well, it should help pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationship between different groups.
In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, we introduce the children to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.
The children of Grayswood will have the tools to meet the end of key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those in the National curriculum.
We follow the Kapow progression of learning in History, with each class covering 3 units of history over the academic year. Early Years Foundation Stage follow the Development Matters Guidance to support the teaching and learning of ‘The World’ and ‘The Past and Present'.
The Grayswood History curriculum emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches. The strands of knowledge, chronological awareness, substantive concepts, historical enquiry and disciplinary concepts are interwoven through all our History units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allows the children to investigate history as historians do.
Each unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. Children develop their awareness of the past in Key Stage 1 and know where people and events fit chronologically. This supports children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key Stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time.
Our units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
• Change and continuity
• Cause and consequence
• Similarities and differences
• Historical significance
• Historical interpretations
• Sources of evidence
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As they progress through the units, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.
Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key Stage 1, clearly identified in Lower Key Stage 2 and revisited in Upper Key Stage 2, allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. Previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.
Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt, and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. This is achieved using questioning (both written and verbal), the provision of scaffolds such as word banks and sentence stems and through differentiated templates. Outcomes of work are monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
Teachers plan for children to experience exciting experiences with visits to our local Haslemere museum, and through organised workshops. Children are given opportunities, where possible, to study artefacts, leading to improved skills of enquiry, investigation, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation.
Pupils will leave Grayswood with a deeper understanding of what has happened in Britain and the wider world. Children will be able to speak confidently and passionately about the past and use historical vocabulary confidently. They will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for secondary school and their role in society. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. Outcomes in their books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and progress across the key stages. Children are also asked what they have learnt comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic, through questioning and quizzes.
The expected impact of following the Kapow History scheme of work is that children will:
- Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind
- Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society
- Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences
- Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day
- Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts
- Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts
- Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence
- Make connections between historical concepts and timescales
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History
In summary, our History Curriculum will lead our children to be enthusiastic and curious history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their written work.
Enrichment in History
In addition to the curriculum, we offer the following enrichment opportunities in History for children at Grayswood CE Primary School:
- Trips to historical places such as Fishbourne Roman Palace, Butser Farm and Arundel Castle
- Trips to Haslemere museum and the the Rural Life Centre
- Historical workshops covering periods of time or topics such as The Stone Age, The Tudors, The Victorians, Florence Nightingale and toys of the past
- Black History week (black history is also woven into our curriculum across the year)
- Residentials in Years 4 & 5 include historical learning
** Our progression of knowledge and skills is in the process of being updated