At Ellison Boulters, we see the teaching of History as having three distinct areas of learning, all of which are vital and are taught alongside each other: Knowledge, Skills and Application to Our Modern World.
Firstly, it is important that children have a good understanding of the key events that have impacted and shaped our country and the wider world throughout many years. Children need to know where these events fit on a timeline and how events, people and places are linked together. Secondly, children need to be taught the skills required to ask and answer questions in order to find out about history and analyse sources. These transferrable skills can be applied to many other subjects and areas of life beyond History. Finally, children will be encouraged to discuss how lessons learned from the past have shaped and can shape the future. It is important that children appreciate that history plays a key role in how we interact with the world around us. These three parts, when placed together, will provide children with the ability to critically analyse the world around them and understand the impact of mankind’s actions on that world. This, in turn, will support children to make positive contributions to communities by making fully informed decisions through having a sound understanding of the lessons learned in society over many years.
The curriculum has been designed in a thematic manner so that whole topics last for at least a short term. As a result, history topics that are taught will impact on other areas of the curriculum for the duration of that particular topic. For example, when studying WW2 in Y5/6, children’s learning in History will provide the context for written work in English. In Geography, they will study the countries involved in WW2 and look at their locations on maps. Maths learning will enable interpretation of tables and graphs showing data from the war period. History will also be relevant to topics that are not ‘History-led’. An example of this is in Y1/2 where the children will learn about modes of transport over time in the Transport topic and consider why different vehicles or animals were used.
At Ellison Boulters, we follow the History programmes of study of the National Curriculum (2014) in Key Stage 1 and 2, and the Early Learning Goals in the Foundation Stage. For every year group, the key objectives of History have been mapped out to ensure that all of the curriculum is covered in a progressive manner. These objectives have been set out in a rolling programme that cover 3 mileposts (KS1, LKS2 &UKS2) as well as the Foundation Stage. The majority of objectives are taught and met within topics and themes that enable all subjects in a particular term to be linked together. Where there are aspects of the programmes of study that do not link to these topics, stand-alone lessons and mini-units are taught to ensure that the entire curriculum is covered adequately. For example, at Ellison Boulters, Year 1/2’s Year A covers Castles which gives them an opportunity to focus on one period of time, and Year B covers Transport which gives the children the opportunity to learn about how an aspect of history has changed over time. During Y3/4, the children cover Egyptians (Year A) which is a history led topic and then in Year B, they study a topic called Scavengers and Settlers which incorporates learning about the Stone Age to the Iron Age. In Year B, they also study the ‘History of Flight’ in more detail through the Inventions topic. Year A sees the children in Y5/6 learn about the Ancient Greek Civilisation and then Year B sees them studying WW2 (A significant period in British history) as well as the Mayan Civilisation. All of these topics are progressive and the skills that underpin them are mapped out in the progression document.
In Key Stage 1, children will learn about the past in relation to the present. Children will:
- Know where people and events fit within a chronological framework
- Develop an awareness of the past and the passing of time
- Use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms
- Use parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features
- Identify similarities and differences
- Identify some of the ways in which the past is represented
- Ask and answer questions about the past
In Key Stage 2, this is extended to exploring how the present is the result of what people have done in the past. Children will:
- Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding
- Develop the appropriate use of historical terms
- Know and understand significant aspects of history: nature of ancient civilisations; expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of non-European societies; achievements of mankind
- Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts
- Ask questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance
- Note connections, contrasts and trends over time
- Establish clear narratives within and across periods of study
- Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources and that different versions of past events may exist, giving some reasons for this
- Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information
- Regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions
- Make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
At Key Stage 2 pupils should be given opportunities to study history from a variety of perspectives. The perspectives allow the study unit to be taught through an appreciation of the social, political, economic and cultural life of the times.
Children have opportunities to learn about the past from a range of historical sources, enquiry appropriate fieldwork and a variety of reference books, materials and human resources.
I.C.T. will be used, as appropriate, to enable research for information.
Impact in History is measured by end of unit assessments that test the children’s recall of key knowledge and facts from the topic. These assessments will be completed at the end of each term where History has been the curriculum driver of the topic. Children leave Ellison Boulters with a sound understanding of chronology as well as key events in British and World History. They are prepared for the KS3 curriculum by giving them the skills to ask questions and think critically about subjects that they study in the history curriculum.