Our History curriculum is intended to engage and inspire curiosity, while encouraging children to think critically and ask questions, and to understand these as key skills of historians. Through our History curriculum we aim to teach children the importance of enquiry, research and analysis; and teach an understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. Children will focus on very specific periods, questions and issues to help them to draw broader parallels and comparisons. Through the study of history pupils also develop a wide range of critical thinking skills, which enable them to understand the contested nature of knowledge and to distinguish between ‘fact’ and subjectivity when it comes to reaching conclusions and making judgements about the past.
With this in mind Old Buckenham Primary School and Nursery has chosen to use Connected History to support the delivery of the History Curriculum at our school. This is a carefully designed and resourced scheme which provides teachers with a coherent, progressive, and rigorous learning programme for all children across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
- Stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past.
- Teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity, and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus, they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. Some lessons will explicilty encourage children to speculate about the future.
- Make a significant contribution to social, moral, spiritual and cultural education by teaching how Britain developed as a democratic society.
- Teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
- Enable children to think as historians; we place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources, allowing them to learn through discovery. In each key stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance or to speak with visitors about their experiences of events in the past.
- Teach relevant information in terms of the careful consideration that has been given to the selection of historical enquiries that extend the knowledge and understanding of pupils beyond 1066
- Build upon and ensure continuity with the provision for history established in the Early Years Foundation Stage at Old Buckenham Primary School and Nursery.
- Deliver an inclusive curriculum in terms of delivering the same curriculum to all pupils at OBPSN irrespective of specific learning needs or disabilities and differentiating where necessary through, for example, in class support, providing different learning environments, alternative learning activities and assessment outcomes.
We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching, and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways, and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given.
At Old Buckenham Primary School & Nursery, we teach History as a dsicrete subject rather than as part of an overarching half termly topic. Instead we structure learning in history through big question led enquiries about relevant historical periods, concepts, places and themes.
At Old Buckenham Primary School & Nursery, teachers adopt an enquiry focused approach to learning and teaching in history. Our curriculum is therefore ‘knowledge rich’ rather than content heavy as we recognise that if we attempt to teach historical topics, places, themes, and issues in their entirety we restrict opportunities for pupils to master and apply critical thinking skills and achieve more challenging subject outcomes.
Through enquiry our pupils not only build subject knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at critical thinking, the use of specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts. Pupils at Old Buckenham Primary School develop as young historians
We adopt a policy of immersive learning in history that provides sufficient time and space for our pupils not only to acquire new knowledge and subject vocabulary but also to develop subject concepts and understand the significance of what they have learned.
Our learning and teaching in history is interactive and practical allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and also in groups of various sizes both inside and outside of the classroom.
Wherever possible we provide our pupils with contemporaneous historical evidence including narratives, paintings, photographs, artefacts, and films to analyse and from which to reach conclusions and make judgements.
Similarly, we provide varied and differentiated ways for pupils to record the outcomes of their work including the use of concept mapping, annotated diagrams, improvised drama and the application to a wide range of writing genres in English lessons. Only in this way will knowledge become embedded and ‘sticky’ and ensure that our pupils can build on what they know and understand from one year to the next.
The schemes of work for each historical enquiry highlight both the objectives and anticipated outcomes of the investigation. The teachers at Old Buckenham Primary School & Nursery use this as the foundation for their planning and ensure that a sequence of lessons is carefully structured through the use of ancillary questions, to enable pupils to build their knowledge and understanding in incremental steps of increasing complexity until they reach the point where they are able to answer the question posed at the beginning of the investigation.
Our learning and teaching in history also recognises the importance of the local area. Where appropriate, teachers at Old Buckenham Primary School & Nursery plan investigations involving observation, recording, presentation, interpretation and the evaluation of historical information outside of the classroom e.g significant people, places and events locally.
Each enquiry which forms our programme of learning and teaching in history sets clear objectives and outcomes for the pupil in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition.
The schemes of work also suggest a range of ways in which the teacher can assess whether a pupil has achieved these outcomes. We ensure that when assessing pupils’ evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process, including interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, day to day observations, practical activities such as model making and role play drama, the gathering, presentation and communication of fieldwork data and writing in different genres.
The outcomes of each enquiry serve to inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and to plan future learning accordingly.
We do not make summative judgements about individual pieces of pupil work but rather use such outcomes to build an emerging picture of what the pupil knows, understands, and can do.
At the end of each year, we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the subject learning goals for history in that year. Teachers will use the Old Buckenham Primary School & Nursery History Coverage and Progression Document, which aligns the objectives set in the National Curriculum with Connected History. At this point teachers decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning goals, exceeded expectations or is still working towards the goals. These decisions are based on the professional knowledge and judgement that teachers possess about the progress of each pupil, developed over the previous three terms, which allows an informed and holistic judgement of attainment to be made. Achievement against the learning goals for history at the end of the year is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents.