History Vision Statement
At Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, we believe that through the collaborative teaching and learning of History, our pupils’ will gain the knowledge and skills to better navigate the world they live in. Through History teaching, children in our school will be have a more robust understanding of their role in society as a global citizen and how this may have changed over time. They will have a good understanding of chronology, change and causality over time and will be able to use age appropriate language to communicate this. They will learn how Britain has developed over time and, where appropriate, be able to compare this with other countries worldwide. We believe that through carefully planned and taught lessons, the children in our school will be able grow as critical thinkers, ask perceptive questions and make informed evidence-based judgements, which we believe is absolutely critical in an age of ‘fake news’. The understanding of History helps pupils to grasp 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.
Children in our school will:
- Ask perceptive questions, think critically and weigh evidence to develop perspective and judgement.
- Have an understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
- Evaluate sources and understand reliability, perception and bias.
- Support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- Be able to take part in active discussion and debate using appropriate subject specific language.
Teachers in our school will:
- Promote a passion and zest for history, communicating to children why it is important for us to learn from the past.
- Foster an intellectual curiosity where children create and follow their own lines of enquiry.
- Build a safe classroom environment where children feel comfortable to talk about their own experiences.
- Encourage discussions and an awareness of diversity of experience between peers and wider society.
- Advocate for tolerance, respect, rule of law, democracy and liberty in relation to History teaching.
Planning and Delivery
History is taught through mainly a ‘topic based’ approach. Termly topic schemes of work outline the history skills taught across the school. These plans have been designed using the expectations outlined in the National Curriculum and Chris Quigley’s ‘Essential Curriculum’.
History across the school is taught through a mixture of continuous provision or large topic units, depending on which is most appropriate for the key stage. Colleagues are given opportunities to collaborate to ensure consistency in approach and class teachers, overseen by the subject lead, plan specific lesson content. Lessons will demonstrate carefully planned opportunities for children to be active in discussion and to practise and retrieve the knowledge and skills they have been taught. Books will show well thought out and engaging activities that give the children opportunities to be autonomous and practise the key skills within the ‘Essentials Curriculum’. Planning will also be in line with our St Francis of Assisi Teaching Backwards Approach and our FACE model of teaching and learning. Learning is consolidated and encouraged to stick by regular retrieval practice; PoP tasks, spacing new knowledge, making connections; applying, explaining and justifying by using current and past knowledge organisers.
As children move up through the school, they revisit historical skills and concepts previously taught and build upon knowledge with new learning objectives and through exploring new eras in time. Children continue to develop subject-specific vocabulary enabling them to communicate historically and deepen their understanding of key concepts such as chronology.
Where possible and practical, History is enriched by developing cross-curricular links between other areas of the curriculum, through Literacy, Geography, art and music opportunities. Children are also able to have a more immersive experience through local visits if appropriate, or to have visitors come into school.
We measure the impact of our History curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding through assessment tools such as PoP tasks, big questions, pre and post learning challenges and quizzes
- Interviewing children about their learning (pupil voice)
- Lesson observations
- Learning Walks
- Reviewing pupils’ work (‘book looks’)
- Observation of practical activities
- Moderation of work across the school and MAT
Using this evidence, teachers can close the gaps in pupils’ knowledge or skills by amending planning, revisiting or interleaving knowledge, by adapting teaching and/or by flexibly grouping. The measuring of impact also allows the subject leader to continue to monitor History teaching across the school, feedback to staff and make any necessary changes.
Evidence of learning may come in many forms, through discussion, photographs, videos, artwork and drama as well as a range of age appropriate written tasks. Feedback will be linked to historical skills. We aim to improve our access to interactive resources and artefacts so that the children may have a more tangible and long lasting experience of the subject. Furthermore, we aim to be reflective practitioners who take into consideration how best to refine our teaching over time as well as how to represent, in our planning, the community diversity we are lucky enough to have in our school.