We want to inspire children’s curiosity to know more about the past. We expect children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and how daily lives have changed over time. We want them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. Through history, we will teach children 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.
At Widewell, history is taught for three whole terms during a two-year rolling programme. We have carefully designed our thematic curriculum in which opportunities to apply knowledge and skills from other subjects are woven into historical, geographical and scientific theme headings. This ensures that concepts are revisited in different contexts and link to and build upon previous learning wherever possible. Careful planning provides opportunities to apply historical skills through well-chosen activities and memorable experiences.
We recognise and capitalise on the strong links between history and geography in our planning, especially to orientate children to the locality prior to learning about its history. We have chosen our historical themes carefully for a range of purposes, so that it meets the needs of our children and community. We provide quality historical visits that take full advantage of our locality.
Knowledge Organisers act as an aide-memoire of key knowledge and are shared with parents. Units of study are chosen to suit particular year groups, based on cross-curricular links, our locality and the complexity of concepts taught within them, so events may not be encountered in a chronological sequence. To overcome any misconceptions, we always place the historical period into a broader timeline and highlight the period being taught and how it relates to previous units. We encourage children to practice ordering key people and events from periods they have studied so far.
Children’s outcomes can be seen on Tapestry (Early Years), topic books, photographic records and displays around the school. Quizzes are used to revisit knowledge, skills and concepts to aid long-term retention, as well as being an assessment tool for the teacher to see progress and notice gaps in knowledge. At the beginning of the theme, children generate their own questions to follow up their individual interests, answers to which are built up as the term progresses. Coordinators and governors talk to groups of children to establish whether key learning has been retained.