Curriculum Area: History
Curriculum Leader: Mrs Latham
At The Gates, the aim of our History curriculum is to give our children a high quality history education which provides a coherent understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We hope to inspire children’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions in order to know more about the past and to understand how the past has shaped our lives today. Whilst at The Gates, pupils will be taught the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and to develop perspective and judgement in order to grow in their knowledge and skill as historians. History skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these skills are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. These skills grow alongside the development of essential knowledge of key historical eras and pupils learn how our lives today have been shaped by each era studied through a rich curriculum accessible to all. British Values and SMSC sit in the heart of the History curriculum and are taught across every unit to allow pupils to deepen their understanding of how History has shaped our lives today and to explore and challenge History in an SMSC context. As the children progress through the school, the topic area of local history is built upon across both key stages to allow the children to develop an in-depth understanding of the area in which they live and how it has been influenced and changed over time. Chronology has been carefully thought out so that the pupils travel back through time from the present day in EYFS and KS1 to the Stone Age in Years 5 and 6. Key threads such as significant people, transport, homes, sport and entertainment are incorporated in each topic to allow for comparison and the development of a wider knowledge of each. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant historical questions. The use of quality reading texts and well-planned links between History and other areas of the curriculum ensures that pupil vocabulary and wider understanding is rich and built up over time. This provides a valuable tool for all pupils to be able to demonstrate their understanding, through accessible and varied outcomes, though not only specific History lesson outcomes but outcomes across the wider curriculum too.
The History curriculum at The Gates has been carefully planned by the subject leader to match the National Curriculum. Knowledge, skills and vocabulary progress throughout units and across Year groups to enable the children to build upon prior learning and to prepare them for future learning. The History curriculum is planned across 2 cycles, A and B, and sits alongside the Geography curriculum to ensure balance across the 2 subjects in a way so that they strengthen the learning and skills across both subjects. Local History units provide in-depth studies of the history related to the town to provide the children with history knowledge related to their family and the town in which they live.
At The Gates, we aim to make meaningful and relevant links to History and other areas of the Curriculum in order to strengthen pupils’ knowledge and understanding. Cross curricular links are carefully mapped out on curriculum overviews, across a range of subjects. Class teachers carefully select class novels and information texts to suit the current History unit, doing so helps to apply historical knowledge across a variety of genres and encourages the development of historical vocabulary. Writing follows on from the reading sources studied and allows the application of historical knowledge and vocabulary through relevant genres. Cross curricular links are made between History and Mathematics in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through doing activities such as timelines. Facts and figures in History also support links to the Maths curriculum. Across other subjects of the curriculum, History will be fed through units of work in order to create outcomes which combine History knowledge with the skills and understanding. For example, pupils may develop Art and DT skills by creating textile products around a History theme or may produce artwork in the style from a Historical era. In Geography, local history units will allow the children to explore the geography of the local area whilst developing an understanding of the history of the town. Computing lessons enables pupils to develop and present historical understanding through the use of Internet searches, Word Processing and publishing programmes.
Teachers will use school’s medium term plans, supported by a wide range of teaching and learning resources, to develop the substantive and disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding of every child, ensuring that all pupils, including those with SEND, achieve high standards for their ability and make good progress from their starting points. Each new unit will start by recapping prior learning and gaging current knowledge, providing teachers with a sound understanding of children’s starting points.
As the children progress through the school, the topic area of local history is built upon across both key stages to allow the children to develop an in-depth understanding of the area in which they live and how it has been influenced and changed over time. Chronology has been carefully thought out so that the pupils travel back through time from the present day in EYFS and KS1 to the Stone Age in Years 5 and 6. Key threads such as significant people, transport, homes, sport and entertainment are incorporated in each topic to allow for comparison and the development of a wider knowledge of each.
Assessment is an integral part of the planning of teaching and learning. It is used to inform future planning, set appropriately challenging targets for children and to ensure children are making good progress and attainment. Information for assessment will be gathered in various ways; end of unit tests, observations, teacher and pupil discussion, teacher questioning, and scrutiny of pupils’ comments and written work and on-going analysis of the achievements of pupils. Data is updated termly and analysed by the subject leader to ensure progression throughout the school. Teachers feed the data from the assessments made into their planning.
Trips, workshops, visitors and other enrichment opportunities enable pupils to visit places, meet people and explore resources in a way that will complement the teaching and learning carried out within the classroom environment. Enrichment opportunities are carefully planned in across the year to ensure that the children have the opportunity to explore the learning of History within a range of contexts and through and variety of experiences. Homework webs are created to sit alongside History units within school and are sent home every half term to further promote learning opportunities for the pupils and as a way to guide and support the learning of History at home.
At The Gates, pupils will learn and gain a coherent understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world through a carefully planned and taught History curriculum. During lessons pupils will be taught the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and to develop perspective and judgement in order to grow in their knowledge and skill as historians.
We hope to inspire children’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions in order to know more about the past and to understand how the past has shaped our lives today. Cross curricular opportunities will enable pupils to develop an understanding of History whilst using a range of skills, such skills will strengthen and secure the pupils’ knowledge of historical concepts.
Local area history studies will enable pupils to find out more about how the area in which they live and to understand how the town has evolved into what it has become today. Pupils will understand how where they live compares to other places locally, nationally and worldwide.
In 2021 we recieved The Gold Quality mark for History.
Find out more about History at The Gates by following the #TheGatesHistory