History Curriculum Statement
Through the History Curriculum at Pilsley C of E Primary School, we strive to inspire a curiosity within our children. We aim to develop an understanding of British history and that of the wider world. At our school, we work together to develop an understanding of chronology, including a knowledge and understanding of how the local area (Chatsworth) has changed over time. The children are given the opportunity to examine, interpret and evaluate a variety of sources in order to make deductions about the past. Our children are taught to think and behave as historians and archaeologists. They are also encouraged to pose their own historical questions.
At Pilsley C of E Primary School, we investigate how and why the world has changed as well as what we can learn from the past to make the future a better place. British Values are woven into the History curriculum promoting values such as Mutual Respect, Tolerance and Individual Liberty. Themed lessons such as Black History, Remembrance and Significant Women promote such values. Themed days, visitors and school visits are used within our History curriculum to develop a deeper understanding of the time periods studied and to inspire the children, instilling a lifelong love of History.
Our topics are informed by the national curriculum, are sensitive to children’s interests and are planned within the context of the local area. The History curriculum at Pilsley is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning seamlessly follows previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the National Curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Pilsley aims to ensure that all pupils: Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past; are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement; begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Through high standards of teaching and learning, we implement a History curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of our half-termly topics, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At Pilsley C of E Primary School, we ensure that History is given the same standing in the whole school curriculum as the core subjects. We also feel it is of key importance that all children gain ‘real-life’ experiences in their learning, inspiring enthusiasm and improving knowledge and skills acquisition.
Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each class across the school. By the end of Year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British History from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.
At Pilsley, cross-curricular outcomes in History are specifically planned for, with strong links between the History curriculum and morning Literacy lessons enabling further contextual learning. Our local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. In addition, staff have access to the Cornerstones plans and resources, however, consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. Within our knowledge-rich approach, there is a strong emphasis on people and the community of our local area.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in Reception to have an ‘Understanding of the world; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Overall, our History curriculum aims to excite the children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians.
Our History Curriculum is high quality and well planned to demonstrate progression. If children are achieving in line with our curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: a reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes and pupil discussions about their learning. Assessment for Learning is embedded in practice, with both staff and children continually reflecting on their learning, allowing for support and extension in both knowledge and skills.
At Pilsley, both summative and formative assessments in History are carried out by our class teachers. This is done informally during the course of teaching, through observation and questioning and at the end of each unit of work. Teachers complete pupil assessments in order to update the children’s attainment and progress in relation the program of study. These assessments are then used to assist in reporting to the parents and passed on to the subsequent class teacher to inform future planning. Termly observations are carried out by the subject co-ordinator, to assess children’s progress and to suggest areas for development for staff, maintaining quality first teaching.
Outcomes in books evidence a broad and balanced History curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas, with support from their teachers through discussion. Children are also encouraged to record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.
To summarise, we assess children’s work in History by making informal judgements as we observe them during each History lesson. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher marks the work and comments as necessary, as per the whole school marking policy. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil if they have yet to obtain, met or exceeded the unit objectives based on those stipulated in the curriculum. We use this as a basis for assessing the progress of the child at the end of the year.
Every student has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening History curriculum. By teaching this subject to a high standard and developing effective, inquisitive learning behaviours in our children, we aim to inspire all children at Pilsley C of E primary to achieve their full potential. Children will leave Pilsley prepared for their future education and life beyond.