“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.”
Primary National Curriculum for History 2014
HISTORY CURRICULUM STATEMENT
At Alfriston Primary School, our history teaching aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want our children to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence.
OUR CURRICULUM INTENT FOR HISTORY
Through our scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes.
Our history curriculum aims to 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 hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries.
In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, our scheme aims to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.
HOW WE IMPLEMENT OUR CURRICULUM
We achieve our history curriculum by using the Kapow Primary History scheme of work and incorporating the rich local area links our school location provides.
Kapow Primary’s History scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the 'Understanding the World' Development Matters statements and Early Learning Goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further history learning in Key stage 1.
The Kapow Primary scheme emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram below.
These strands are interwoven through all our History units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow 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. In EYFS, children explore the concept of history by reflecting on key experiences from their own past, helping them understand that they each have their own histories. Then, they engage in activities to compare and contrast characters from stories, including historical figures, deepening their understanding of how individual lives fit into broader historical narratives. Children will further develop their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support 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. The Kapow Primary timeline supports children in developing this chronological awareness.
There are two EYFS units focused on each of the history-related Development matters statements. These units consist of a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activities. In Key stage 1 and 2, units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to follow the enquiry cycle (Question, Investigate, Interpret, Evaluate and conclude, Communicate) when answering historical questions.
Over the course of the scheme, 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 children progress through the Kapow scheme, 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 (see Progression of skills and knowledge) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History.
The Kapow scheme follows the spiral curriculum model where 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.