We believe that a well-rounded History curriculum will allow children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We have carefully designed our History curriculum so that children gain this knowledge as they progress through the school. In addition to this, we recognise the important role that History plays in preparing our children with skills that they can use for life, raising their aspirations, understand how to be a good and responsible citizen, understanding change and societal development and a context in which to understand themselves and others. This is extremely important for children in our federation by allowing them access to the wider world. Through our History curriculum, we strive to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and to know more about the past. Our curriculum provides children with opportunities to question, think critically, analyse evidence, consider different arguments, and develop their own opinions through this process. We endeavour to 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.
Pupils will remember and recall important facts and knowledge from historical periods, including those that have previously been studied further down school. They will also make links and draw comparisons between different periods in history. Learning is planned sequentially to ensure that prior knowledge is built upon. Pupils will use historical sources to acquire knowledge and learn that past events can be interpreted in different ways. Pupils, through their engagement and curiosity, will apply their knowledge to understand how past events have influenced our world.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1, pupils learn about many prominent figures in British history and in world history. They have the opportunity to evaluate their impact and see if there is still and impact today. As a result of studying different prominent figures, they have the opportunity to directly compare them to one another. For instance, pupils will be able to compare the life and times of Neil Armstrong and Christopher Columbus. They will be able to discuss how both were explorers, but were remarkably different, due to the times in which they live. Comparisons between the voyages of Columbus and the Apollo space programme will also be directly compared, as will the timeline between these people and what changes contributed to their differences.
This also builds on family history and stories learnt in the EYFS curriculum, shifting from learning about family history to world history.
Pupils will also learn about toys from the Victorian age and toys from modern times. They have the opportunity to look at the chronology of events which has made toys so different today. Furthermore, they will compare different sources and artefacts, sequencing these. There is also scope here for comparing the Victorian period to an even earlier period of Britain, in the Great Fire of London.
Key Stage 2
Units such as The Stone Age to Iron Age and Ancient Rome are taught in lower KS2, so that comparisons can be drawn with other early civilisations, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Maya and Ancient Greece in Upper Key Stage 2. Pupils will be able to contrast societies that built the pyramids and ancient Maya cities, with life in Britain at the time Stonehenge was built for instance. Throughout the unit of knowledge, there will be a focus on developing pupils’ grasp of the key concept of change and continuity. As written records are non- existent or extremely limited for this period, pupils can concentrate on strong visual images and artefactual evidence. By looking at specific case studies from the British Isles and Ancient Rome, pupils can see how evidence is pieced together. This can them be built upon in Upper Key Stage 2. One of the central themes of the unit of knowledge is on problem-solving and answering the question ‘How can we possibly know?’ This unit of knowledge explores the abstract concept of ‘civilisation’. This concept is built upon when the children learn about Ancient Egypt, The Maya Civilisation and Ancient Greece.
The Romans and Stone Age to Iron age is taught in the same cycle to develop pupils’ chronological understanding and their ability to see clear contrasts between these very contrasting periods in Britain. Pupils will focus on comparing and contrasting different people in ancient Rome and in the Stone Age; they will have the opportunity to directly contrast the different periods in British History. This will also be done when pupils explore Tudor Britain, the time of Henry VIII, his significance and Tudor society. They will learn what the Romans brought to Britain, both at the time and over time. This will be compared to how people lived during the Stone Age. This unit of knowledge explores the concepts of ‘empire’ (Roman Empire and British Empire), which is in turn revisited with the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians. The concept of ‘invasion’ is reinforced when children learn about the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and the concept of ‘trade’ is be reinforced through a unit of knowledge on the Maya Civilisation