At St George’s CE School, we make history come alive! As part of the broad and balanced curriculum that we offer to all; history is to be taught with both passion and enthusiasm to ignite a passion for the past within the children.
The National Curriculum states that ‘History helps pupils 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.’ This is a statement that we embrace at St. George’s and as the children work their way through the school; the children will develop their understanding of the elements contained within it.
History is the study of what has happened since writing began; but at St. George’s we take our study of the past back further as the children in Key Stage Two will delve back to pre-history. They will learn how we can discover the past when no written sources exist – beginning to understand the importance of archaeology and the footprints we leave behind as part of the human race. By exposing children to a range of time periods and cultures we aim to enable the children to understand both the history of Britain and the history of the rest of the world and how the two interlink. At St. George’s we know the importance of learning about local history – the history of Kidderminster and the wider Wyre Forest.
In Early Years; although history is not taught as a discrete subject; children will learn about the past and the present in relation to themselves and their families as well as learning about historical events linked to celebrations such as the Gun Powder Plot and Bonfire Night on the 5th of November.
Each term, the school focusses on a different strand of the curriculum and this is taught in every year group. Throughout each history strand taught, pupils will be able to make connections to previously taught areas of history as well as other areas of the curriculum.
Before each unit, staff receive training in the strand and are supported with planning their unit of work by the curriculum lead as well as planning collaboratively with other staff across the Black Pear Trust. When planning, class teachers use the National Curriculum as well as the History Subject Syllabus document which outlines the progression for each year group.
There are high expectations of pupils ‘talking’ like a historian as well as high expectation of pupils researching, interpreting and presenting like a historian. Each history topic will be inquiry-based fully involving the children as well as high quality teacher modelling and questioning with a mix of individual, paired and group instruction.
The use of the comprehension express reading ‘expert tips’ in lessons will be key to developing children’s historical enquiry skills. These include:
- Explore vocabulary – Lessons incorporate a focus on historical terminology and concepts which will be then used in the lesson. For example the concept of ‘empire’ is looked at and defined on a general sense then used when looking at the Roman Empire.
- Ask a question – Children have an opportunity to ask meaningful questions based on what they see when looking at primary sources. This can be done at a start of a unit. It can also be used to reflect on evidence and help them analyse and explore cause and consequence.
- Think and remember – Children use previous topics studied and apply it to what they know now. For example, the location of Italy in Europe from a previous geography lesson or remembering that the Stone Age came before the Bronze Age when placing events on a timeline.
- Make connections and search for clues and Predict – Children use sources to look for clues about the past and make justifiable claims based on the evidence.
- Read it again – When looking at more than one source (especially with online research) to validate accuracy and interpretations.