History at Glebe aims to ensure pupils develop a keen interest in the past and be inspired to know more. Through a broad curriculum they will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The progression of key historical skills will equip them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence as well as develop perspective and judgement. Pupils will explore the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change and the diversity of societies. Our cross-curricular approach will deepen pupils’ understanding of how past events reflect upon who they are as individuals as well as their attitudes and values.
Article 28 – Every child has the right to a good quality education.
Article 29 – Education should help children to develop their talents and abilities.
Mrs K Gorsia (KS1), Mrs R Halai (KS2)
Seema Varsani, Upkar Singh Mandair
Intent, Implementation and Impact
History draws upon prior learning, wherever the content is taught. For example, in the EYFS, pupils may learn about the past and present through daily activities, exploring through change, and understanding more about the lives of others through books and visitors as well as their own experiences. These experiences are drawn upon and used to position new learning in KS1. The structure is built around the principles of advancing cumulative knowledge, chronology, change through cause and consequence, as well as making connections within and throughout periods of time studied.
History is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork’s desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with significant periods of time, people, places and events.
History strategically incorporates a range of modules that revisit, elaborate and sophisticate key concepts, events, people and places. A guiding principle of History is that pupils become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental timeline. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented understanding of the past. Specific and associated historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from Year 1 to Year 6. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). Each learning module in history has a vocabulary module with teacher guidance, tasks and resources, fulfils and goes well beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum as we believe there is
no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded in evidence-led principles.
In the EYFS, History is taught through the Early Learning Goals and is linked to objectives both in the Primary and Specific Areas within the EYFS Development Matters framework.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children begin to learn that as they grow up they are increasingly able to do more things for themselves independently. This emerging knowledge and understanding is used to explore crucial early historical skills. Many children within the EYFS will have younger and/or older siblings who they will see being involved in activities at a different level. This is used to extend the children’s learning and understanding of themselves and the world around them.
By the time children are in Reception they will be increasingly aware of the changes in routines during different times of the day and seasons of the year. These changes in times have an impact on what activities they can do (sleep, eat, play, home, holidays etc) as well as what they wear and what they celebrate. Activities in the EYFS address a number of key historical concepts of chronological awareness. These are presented through a cross-curricular approach that aims to develop children’s learning across a range of the key learning areas. The children are introduced early on in their learning to methods which will help them to develop an understanding of chronology, which is essential for communication and language as well as numerical literacy.
These historical concepts include:
· Beginning to use historical based language – language associated with the passage of time;
· A sense of uniqueness and of belonging to a community;
· Developing a sense of historical enquiry;
· Comparison and contrast, similarity and differences, variety;
· Historical narrative and sequence and a sense of chronology and duration;
· An introduction to handling artefacts and the use of evidence.
KEY STAGE 1
The sequence in KS1 focuses on young children developing a sense of time, place and change. It begins with children studying Changes within living memory to develop an understanding of difference over time within concrete experiences of their lives. This chronological knowledge is foundational to the understanding of change over time. Pupils
study the Lives of significant individuals, focusing on David Attenborough and Mary Anning.
Chronology and place in time steers the understanding of the context in which these significant individuals lived. Terms such as legacy are introduced and used within the context of each study. This study is revisited and enhanced by studying the Lives of further significant individuals, including Neil Armstrong, Mae Jemison, Bernard Harris Jr and Tim Peake.
In KS1, pupils study local history through significant events, people and places. The locality is further understood by knowing about the places, the buildings, the events and the people that tell a story of the past. Events beyond their living memory. Here, pupils draw upon early concepts of chronology and connect it to more abstract, but known, events in the past focusing on the Great Fire of London.
There are further opportunities for pupils to revisit and retrieve prior learning with a focus on ‘Events beyond living memory’. Connections, where relevant, are made to wider studies, such as the Great Fire of Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket or Haverhill.
LOWER KEY STAGE 2
In lower KS2, pupils study the cultural and technological advances made by our ancestors as well as understanding how historians think Britain changed throughout the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Archaeological history guides us to know how early humans were creative, innovative and expert at surviving in changeable environments.
Having an in-depth understanding of Iron Age Britain offers solid foundations for the study of how Rome influenced Britain. This foundational knowledge is built upon and used to support long-term retrieval to contrast culture and technology. Pupils are able to draw upon prior understanding to support and position new knowledge, therefore constructing much more stable long-term memories.
Substantive concepts such as invasion, law, civilisation and society are developed through explicit vocabulary instruction, another central component of our curriculum. Studies of how Britain was settled by Anglo-Saxons and Scots gives a focus on cultural change and the influence of Christianity. Pupils study how powerful kings and their beliefs shaped the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon Britain. This also focuses on the Struggle for throne of England through a study of the Vikings, their origins, conquests and agreements with English Anglo-Saxon kings to settle and dwell in the region known as Danelaw.
UPPER KEY STAGE 2
Later in KS2, knowledge of Anglo-Saxons is revisited and used to connect with a study of the Maya civilisation. The study compares advancement of the Maya culture and innovation to that of the Anglo-Saxons around c.AD 900. Here, location, settlement, people, culture and invention are compared and contrasted. Pupils also study Significant monarchs after 1066. Five kings and queens are a focus of a depth study and comparison, drawing on their beliefs, actions and understanding their legacy.
This chronological study revisits known periods of time and introduces new content and monarchs. Ancient history, such as the achievements of the earliest civilisations - Ancient
Egyptians and the study of Ancient Greek life and achievements are also studied learning about their influence on the western world. The understanding of culture, people and places are central to these studies.
History connects these studies with prior knowledge of what was happening in Britain at the same time. The effect of this is to deepen and connect a broader understanding of culture, people, places and events through comparison. Recent history, such as the Battle of Britain for example, is studied in the context of how conflict changed society in the Second World War. Modern history is also studied through units such as the Windrush Generation. Knowing about slavery, Caribbean culture and the injustice of the past enlightens pupils to understand why events happened and how these pioneers faced racism, discrimination and prejudice. PSHE and SMSC are vital components of the history curriculum - challenging racism and prejudice in all its forms. This is an integral feature of our curriculum is that it spotlights the lessons we can learn from the past. NOTE for schools Complementary studies are currently being written to further broaden and enrich the culture and diversity of our history curriculum, including studies of the earliest civilisations - Ancient Sumer and the Shang Dynasty. Also, to offer diverse and contrasting studies with non-European societies, new modules will focus on early Islamic civilisation as well as a study of West Africa – Benin around AD c.900.
Through excellent teaching and generative tasks, the connection between the historical content and the context needs to be made relevant to the everyday lives of children. Through great teaching of History, we encourage pupils to be curious learners who are inquisitive, ask questions and think hard. History seeks to empower pupils to ask relevant historical questions as well as begin to answer them using substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
SPIRITUAL – The study of History involves a sense of curiosity and the mystery of how and why events in the past happened and raises questions as to what could have happened if events had had different results. Artefacts are used to give pupils a sense of the past and aid pupils in understanding the people who produced and used these objects. Pupils are encouraged to explore the role played by important individuals, for good or ill, in the shaping of the world we live in. Pupils also reflect upon different interpretations of the past and how these interpretations have been arrived at.
MORAL – Pupils are asked to consider and comment on moral questions and dilemmas. Events and beliefs in the past will often be at odds with what we would consider acceptable today (historical context). Pupils will be encouraged to show compassion for people facing dilemmas and to empathise with decisions which people in the past made and the reasoning behind these decisions. Notions of right and wrong are explored in connection with events from the past and the changing nature of morality explored.
SOCIAL – Pupils will explore the similarities and contrasts between past and present societies and be made aware of how, in the main, we are very fortunate to live in ‘the modern world’ which links with the value of thankfulness. They will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ’British’ culture. Pupils will also be encouraged to build up their own social development through collaborative
and team working activities. The study of social issues is a common theme in History lessons.
CULTURAL – Pupils will study, and be encouraged to gain an understanding of and empathise with, people from different cultural backgrounds. They will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ’British’ culture. Pupils develop a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, European and world history. The contribution of different cultures to human development and progress are studied and evaluated.
Key historical skills, concepts and knowledge are mapped through statements describing the expectations for pupils in each Year group. Teachers use the National Curriculum to regularly assess pupils’ learning against specific criteria. They are able to clearly identify end points (KS1/KS2) as well as the progression of skills as pupils move up through the year groups.
Teachers assess against Learning Intention in individual lessons which are derived from the medium-term plans. Each lesson and series of lessons aims to incorporate the key skills and cover specified knowledge.
Assessment is also carried out through the answering of key over-arching ‘inquiry questions’ for topics and formative assessment which takes place in all lessons through cumulative low-stakes quizzing.
Progression in pupils’ historical skills and understanding is further assessed by asking pupils in each year group to examine, question and comment upon the same historical source/artefact (object or picture). Pupils are asked to record their thinking under three different headings: What we can see and can say for certain / What we think (our opinions, hypotheses) / What we would like to find out. The level, depth and sophistication of pupils’ responses to the picture or object should increase with age, so providing evidence of progression.
The Subject and Assessment Leaders meet on a termly basis to analyse History data and identify gaps and areas for development at a whole school, key stage, year group and individual class level. The Subject Leader will then address these areas to ensure the consistency and coherence of assessment in the subject (this may involve CPD, moderation or tailored support).
Regular scrutiny of pupil’s work, teachers’ marking and feedback, lesson observations, learning walks, pupil conferencing, moderation opportunities are all carried out by members of the Leadership teams
In the EYFS, History is taught through the Early Learning Goals and is linked to the objectives of both the Primary and Specific Areas within the EYFS Development Matters framework. In KS1 and KS2, it is taught in two timetabled weekly lessons.
Teaching and learning is structured around a 36-week year.
Glebe has an extensive collection of primary and secondary sources of evidence including artefacts which are used in the teaching and learning of History. These are organised in topic boxes and stored centrally to support teachers plan and deliver engaging and stimulating lessons. Pupils are immersed into the historical topic at hand and, where possible, a cross-curricular approach enables them to reinforce and enrich their understanding (linked key texts in English as well as Art and D.T. projects for example).
Through the school’s virtual platform, Google Classroom, use is also made of a variety of on-line resources such as those from the Historical Association and LGFL.
Educational visits are an integral part of the curriculum at Glebe. They help bring history ‘alive’ and give real substance and relevance to classroom learning.