What does History look like at Highweek?
Our History Curriculum
At Highweek we offer a coherently planned sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. We aim to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip children for future learning. These key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units, are: Historical Interpretations; Historical Investigations; Chronological Understanding; Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past; Presenting, Organising and Communicating.
The coverage of recent history in KS1 such as ‘the great fire of London enables children to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory and their parents’ and grandparents’ memories. For KS1, we have designed a curriculum that can be covered chronologically in reverse to allow a full opportunity for children to really grasp the difficult concept of the passing of time.
The intent in lower KS2 is that children can work in chronological order from ancient history such as ‘the Stone Age and then progress onto more modern history such as ‘The Victorians.
Upper KS2 allows children to repeat and embed this sequence of chronology with a wider selection of ancient history such as ‘The Mayans’ through to more modern history such as ‘World War II’ and ‘Leisure and Entertainment’. The repeat in KS2 of chronological order from ancient to modern allows for children to truly develop and embed a sense of time and how civilizations were interconnected. Children start to understand how some historical events occurred concurrently in different locations, e.g. Ancient Egypt and the Stone Age.
In order for children to know more and remember more in each area of history studied, there is a structure to the lesson sequence whereby prior learning is always considered and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into lessons. However, this is not to say that this structure should be followed rigidly: it allows for this revision to become part of good practice and ultimately helps build a depth to children’s historical understanding. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. We teach a specific series of lessons for each key stage, which will offer structure and narrative but are by no means to be used exclusively, rather to support planning. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each lesson. This vocabulary is then included in display materials and additional resources to ensure that children are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this knowledge. Through these lessons, we intend to inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.
The impact of using the full range of resources, including display materials, will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of history. The learning environment across the school will be more consistent with historical technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will be improved through the use of history-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning. We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge and understanding, now and in the future. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as success criteria grids, jigsaw targets and KWL grids and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.