‘Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events , and in total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.’
As teachers of history we will…
…teach a well-sequenced history curriculum which will enable children to become ‘historians’ and to gain knowledge of chronology, understand changes within and across time periods and how the past has influenced lives today. They will learn to use and interpret different sources of evidence to find out about the past and to understand and use historical language to ask and answer questions. Our children will find out about people and events from the past and when doing so they will explore the key historical concepts of:
- Similarity and difference
- Continuity and change
- Cause and consequence
We cover the National Curriculum through thought provoking big questions. Through these the children explore, discuss, debate, ask further questions and begin to make informed decisions to find answers as a result of inspiring experiences and lessons. For example, our Year Two pupils study World War Two and explore the big question ‘How did the war change lives?’ whilst also thinking about ‘Is it ok to fight for what you believe in?’
Our history curriculum includes learning about a range of famous people in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements for example Neil Armstrong, Helen Sharman, Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale. By comparing and contrasting different people from the past, children are able to explore and value difference linked to our curriculum drivers of aspirations and diversity.
Other themes consist of events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally for example, the Great Fire of London and the first man who landed on the moon. Topics begin with a ‘wow’ in the aim to bring learning to life and engage the children in wanting to know and find out more. ‘Wows’ in history include mysterious evacuee suitcases found in the school, the mobile planetarium Space Dome, visitors from the Armed Forces and the Royal Marines and a drama workshop alongside Samuel Peyps and Florence Nightingale. History is also enhanced through well planned educational visits such as Armley Mills and Harewood House.
The focus on the local area and how this has changed over time enables our young children to understand the importance and personal significance of history and the impact this can have on their own and others’ lives. Children spend time visiting the local area and participating in local events such as visiting the cenotaph as part of the Remembrance Day service. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) spend time exploring events and people within their own lives and society and their role, for example through their focus on people who help us they will find out about important roles such as the police, firefighters. They focus on events within their own lives and family experiences to become confident to talk about these using early historical language such as before I was born, after, now, past.
Subject specific vocabulary is taught to children and they are encouraged to use and understand this when discussing and evaluating sources of evidence, significant people and events. Recap and review activities or sessions to begin history lessons ensures that children are building upon prior knowledge and learning and key vocabulary is revisited.
History is further enhanced through classroom provision areas and displays. For example, class timelines provide an opportunity for children to understand and use chronology as they plot significant events through history teaching as well as significant and recent events in their own lives and the life of the others.
National Curriculum 2014
In history, pupils will have the opportunity to learn 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
- aspects of life in different periods
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
As historians the children will also:
- ask and answer questions
- put dates and events in chronological order
- find the similarities and differences between people, things and events
- find out how the past has changed things today.