At Half Acres Primary Academy, our History curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity about the past through subject specific teaching organised in topic-based approach.
We are determined that alongside historical knowledge there will be a high focus on the development of specific historical skills and key vocabulary. The teaching of history in our academy is intended to equip pupils to ask pertinent questions about the past, analyse evidence, think critically, appreciate different perspectives, and develop informed judgements.
In addition, our bespoke curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to explore their own identity, for example, through local history topics.
Our History curriculum covers the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring topics. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils by the end of year 6 have the cultural capital to be successful in History in their secondary school. The pgression grid carefully builds on prior learning so that children can make sense of the subject progression allows for sensible cross curricular links to be made.
History is taught within a discrete theme in each year group. Medium term plans ensure coverage of both the required knowledge and the subject specific skills. Individual sessions are planned to inspire, engage and challenge pupils in response to their needs. Children are given a wide variety of experiences both in the classroom and out. We encourage school visits and visitors into school to enable the children to gain first hand experiences to support their learning. One element in the development of the pupils’ communication skills is for pupils to apply their writing skills within an extended written piece linked directly to their history theme.
Pupils are encouraged to think like historians and develop their skills including historical enquiry. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s other skills such as understanding of chronology, interpretations of evidence, changes within a time and across time periods and cause and consequence.
As an academy we are focused on aiding the children to develop their subject specific vocabulary. Teachers use their History working wall to display the vocabulary that is being taught in the current topic. These are referred to, not only in History lessons but in other lessons where they are appropriate.
We are focused on helping children to know more and remember more. At the beginning of every History topic a knowledge organiser is sent home. A knowledge organiser will include key words, dates and facts linked to the specific topic being taught. The aim of this is to help children remember more by practising at home which will positively influence their learning within school. Teachers bring in the knowledge from the organisers to lessons through a weekly/fortnightly quiz and within lessons.
Reading is a thoroughly important skill our academy is passionate about teaching pupils. Our school encourages teachers to use non-fiction texts and stories based on the specific subject being taught in their History lessons. We hope this will help children gain understanding and enhance their subject specific knowledge. We are determined for children to enjoy reading for pleasure and we think it is highly important for our class reading corners to include both non-fiction texts and subject specific stories to add to the pupil’s experience of history.
It is very important for our children to be able to visually see different source types from different aspects of history. Teachers aim to do this through the use of artefacts, both physical and visual where possible. Trips and visitors into school are arranged by members of staff where appropriate to further the children’s knowledge, understanding and skills. This allows many topics to come to life for the children thus furthering their development in the specific topic.
Historical learning starts from the moment children come to our school in our Early Years environment. They learn through role-play in their provision areas.
Our academy is working to make sure all history teaching within our school is consistent so the pupils can get as much out of the lessons planned as possible. Our teachers feel it is very important for all our children to understand what history actually means before starting their lesson, thus allowing the children to become good historians.
History is monitored by subject leaders throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as folder/book scrutinises, lesson observations and pupil interviews. At least one unit of work is monitored each term for each phase teaching History and feedback is given to teachers.
Leaders using the information to see if the children know more and remember more and alter their lessons appropriately to meet the needs of the children to aid them where necessary.