History Subject Leader: Bethany Carter (*plus additional trust leadership capacity)
At Rushton Primary School, we provide a high-quality history education that inspires pupils to be curious about the past. We have designed our ambitious, carefully sequenced and cohesive curriculum offer using ‘Curriculum Maestro’ from Cornerstones Education. The curriculum design fully complies with the National Curriculum and distinguishes between substantive knowledge (key knowledge) and disciplinary knowledge (skills). Historical concepts such as ‘Chronology’’, ‘Hierarchy and Power’ and ‘Local History’ are interconnected so that pupils’ knowledge builds progressively from year to year. Pupils understand and use a wide range of historical vocabulary which enables them to develop the disciplinary skills needed to ask and investigate historical enquiry questions and ‘think like a Historian’.
Our history curriculum ensures that pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world. Pupils will secure a significant historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts and understand connections between local, regional, national and international history. Through historical study, pupils will better understand the complexity of people’s lives both now and in the past. As pupils progress through the curriculum, they develop the disciplinary skills needed to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, consider arguments and develop a sense of perspective and judgement.
At the end of EYFS
Pupils in Reception will develop knowledge and understanding of the Early Learning Goal ‘Understanding the World’ which serves as a foundation for further History learning. Pupils will be able to use the vocabulary of time in the context of their own family history. They will be able to compare life in the past with their own lives by looking at artefacts. They will know about significant people from the past, including kings and queens.
At the end of Key Stage 1
Pupils will be able to demonstrate an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will be able to identify some of the ways we find out about the past and different ways in which it is presented. They will know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and will be able to identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different time periods. Pupils will know about the lives of significant individuals and historical events and places, including in their own locality.
At the end of Key Stage 2
Pupils will make links and comparisons through their understanding and exploration of a diverse selection of different time periods from local, British and world history. They will learn how to carry out historical enquiries using a variety of sources of information and look at how and why the past is interpreted in different ways. They will construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
Pedagogy: How the Curriculum is Taught
Our History curriculum is taught using the following key components:
Teaching of subject-specific vocabulary is embedded sequentially throughout the history curriculum. Historical language is explicitly taught, deliberately practiced, and rooted through retrieval practice. As a result, pupils are confident in their oral use of words in multiple oral and written contexts.
Historical concepts are explicitly taught and connected across units. Pupils are taught how to create historically-valid questions and the methods used by historians to answer them, including the use of historical sources and artefacts.
Opportunities to conduct local history studies bring history to life for pupils and connect their own lives today to people’s experiences in the past.
We use a multi-faceted approach to assessment within history.
Pre-unit quizzes to ascertain existing knowledge.
Retrieval practice of key knowledge from previous lessons and units of study.
Assessment for learning is used within each lesson through skilful use of questioning and live feedback.
Pupil voice to support the evidence that pupils know and remember more over time.
Written outcomes such as short reports facilitate pupils to independently apply appropriate substantive knowledge and disciplinary skill of pupils developing in thinking like a historian. These begin in EYFS with verbalising answers to a question at the end of a topic and continue throughout every year group.
Enrichment is an essential part of our History curriculum which provides pupils with discrete time to deepen their learning. They provide opportunities for new experiences as well as nurturing and developing a thirst for learning.
We use a multi-faceted approach to enrichment within History:
Field work trips to the local area.
Residential experiences for Years 4 and 5.
Occasional planned theme days.
Career Professional Development
We develop strong subject knowledge amongst all staff which is achieved through comprehensive middle leadership development, a focus on developing all teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogy. All staff benefit from implementing the high-quality planning resources provided by the Trust which is amended to meet the needs of all pupils.
Below is a summary of the CPD activities bespoke to History:
Sharing knowledge from trust-wide meetings
Subject Leader staff training following monitoring
1:1 discussions with staff about lessons