At Silver Springs, we teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving. We strive to promote a variety of historical skills, which support the development of knowledge, and skills through enriched cultural capital and the provision of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge to develop long term memory. We believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. Therefore, we teach history termly, allowing children to build on their previous knowledge so that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning. Our long-term plan allows each class to develop their prior learning from the previous year and make links between historical periods.
The objectives of teaching History in our school are:
To foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
To enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
To develop a sense of chronology;
To know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education;
To understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture, and to study some aspects of European history;
To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
To help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
To communicate historical information in a variety of ways including writing at length.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of a termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. On re-designing our curriculum, the subject leader worked in collaboration with teachers to ensure knowledge of disciplinary and substantive concepts were explicitly and progressively built into sequences of lessons.
History Substantive Concepts
Alongside our History rationale which underpins good practice in History, children explore substantive concepts as they move through the school. Our curriculum is laid out in such a way that the children will initially learn about their immediate history, that being their family and location. This will be a starting block in EYFS and built upon as they enter Key Stage 1. Once this is consolidated, they will gain a wider experience of global history. As a child moves through our school, their historical knowledge and understanding will deepen as it would have been built on the foundations laid in the previous years. The concepts that children explore are revisited in different units allowing children to apply new knowledge to the concept in order to prepare them for future learning and life. These concepts include Empire, Civilisation, Parliament & Democracy, Peasantry, Monarchy & Power, Settlements, Trade and Beliefs.
We recognise the importance for children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences through hands-on, practical activities. We ensure this through fieldwork and educational visits. For example, using the local area to visit Beeston Castle to support learning about castles and who used them in Year 2, visiting an Anderson shelter in Year 6 to support learning about what life was like for a child during WW2, visiting Quarry Bank Mill in Year 5 to understand what life was like for a child during the Victorian times. We also invite visitors into school such as Samuel Peyps in Year 2 to consolidate our knowledge and understanding of how the great fire took place.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children are equipped with historical enquiry skills, knowledge and concepts, in addition to guiding their attitude to historical events, which will enable them to be reflective learners, ready for the KS3 curriculum. Through doing this, we aim to generate an excitement for historical enquiry, to encourage the children to become lifelong learners in the wider world. We hope that the importance placed on our History curriculum, along with the passion that emanates from our creative, enthusiastic teachers, will highlight and ignite within the children an importance for studying events from the past. It is our belief that bringing these experiences to our pupils’ present, will positively shape their futures.
By the end of Key Stage Two…
It is expected that our children will be able to work as historical enquirers. Our children will understand what a history lesson is - History is the study of past events. Students know what happened in the past by looking at things from the past including sources (like books, newspapers, and letters) and artefacts (like pottery, tools, and human or animal remains.) ... A person who studies history is called a historian.
They will have developed a chronological understanding of British and world history. Pupils will also be able to use historical sources to identify differences in how past events or people have been represented and if a piece of evidence can be judged as a reliable source. Pupils will have a good understanding of local, national and world history. Pupils will also have made links across historical periods, had opportunities to compare and contrast, identify similarities and differences, understand concepts such as cause and effect, continuity and change and significance.