At Half Acres Primary Academy, our History curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity about the past through a topic-based approach and hands on experience wherever possible.
We are determined that alongside historical knowledge there will be a high focus on the development of specific historical skills. 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.
We believe our pupils should be taught to understand how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. In addition, our bespoke curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to explore their own identity, for example, through local history topics.
Our History curriculum is intended to help pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. We deliberately foster strong links with our PHSE/SEAL curriculum and British Values.
Our History curriculum covers the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring topics. A topic based approach is used to deliver the content within a meaningful context and wherever possible cross curricular links are exploited, particularly links with geography and PHSE. However, teachers make it explicit to the children that they are learning history skills and encourage them to think like ‘historians.’
At Key Stage 1: topics taught include learning about a range of famous people in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. For example, Christopher Columbus, Amelia Earhert, Neil Armstrong. These are chosen carefully to ensure pupils learn about individuals of both genders and from diverse backgrounds. Other topics consist of changes within living memory and events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally including the Great Fire of London and the first aeroplane flight.
Key Stage 2: The National Curriculum for History outlines that: Pupils should continue to develop chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. At Half Acres Primary Academy a long term plan, with carefully constructed units of work covering the full range of skills, is in place in order to achieve this.
History is taught within each year group following a two year rolling programme. 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.
The History units taught have been developed to help children appreciate their own identity and the challenges in their time. It will help them understand the process of change over time and significant developments
History assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed by all class teachers at the end of each unit (using an assessment grid/Target Tracker) to inform leaders of individuals’ progress or skills that still need embedding further.
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.