A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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 St Anne’s, we provide a high-quality history curriculum that has been carefully designed and sequenced to equip our children with a secure, coherent knowledge about British, local and world history. Curriculum content is knowledge, vocabulary and experience rich, delivered in a sequenced chronological order, allowing children to develop their understanding of abstract historical concepts as they move through school. Our curriculum reflects our locality and endeavors to ensure children are knowledgeable about their locality’s history and the changes it has seen. Our history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love for learning about the past. Our children are encouraged to ask and explore historically valid questions and report their findings by drawing on skills from across the curriculum. Alongside the development of substantive knowledge, children will develop their disciplinary skills as they learn the fundamental elements of what it is to be a historian. Children will study a range of cultures and historical perspectives enabling them to be respectful, tolerant and empathetic. Children will leave St Anne's being knowledgeable about key people, events and time periods from the past and will weave these together to form informed, overarching historical narratives.
Characteristics of a Historian
An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
Implementation- How Will We Deliver the Curriculum?
Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum
Learning knowledge is not an endpoint in itself, it is a springboard to learning more knowledge. Each unit in our overview is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their disciplinary knowledge (historical skills). Each unit of work is planned carefully to ensure concepts are taught in optimal order to support children's understanding. As well as developing a breadth of historical knowledge, we want our children to become skillful historians. Each unit of work has an emphasis on historical enquiry where children investigate historically framed questions whilst also developing historical enquiries of their own. In addition to substantive and disciplinary knowledge, children will develop their experiential knowledge through visits (live and/or virtual), handling artifacts (and/or quality representations of artefacts) and engaging in fieldwork in the locality.
Historical Threads and Concepts
Key historical concepts sit at the core of our curriculum to support our cildren to secure these abstract concepts through repeated encounters in their specific contexts.
Valuing Our Local Heritage
We believe strongly that children should have a rich understanding of their local heritage. This is why local history is woven into our history curriculum to ensure it is explicitly taught and that links with larger historical themes are made. For example, in Year 2 the children enjoy learning about their town of Chemley Wood, first recorded sometime around the year 1200 as "the wood called Chelemundesheia". The name derives from 'Ceolmund's haeg', with the second word meaning 'enclosure'. It refers to a Saxon settlement surrounded by pasture for sheep or cattle, enclosed by hawthorn hedges and owned by a man called Ceolmund. Year Two also learn about a local hero, William Shakespeare, and consider his legacy.
In year 5 the children enjoy a local study linked to the city of Birmingham and make links to:
Linking Curriculum and Pedagogy
We have developed our pedagogy and curriculum to make learning stick. At the heart of our approach is retrieval practice and recapping. Retrieval practice involves deliberately recalling knowledge from memory to make learning more robust and flexible. Each time a memory is retrieved, it is strengthened and less likely to be forgotten. If we wish our curriculum to build over time, then we need to teach in a way that makes knowledge ‘stick’. Units of work refer to learning from previous units to enable children to grapple with historical concepts such as 'continuity and change', and 'similarity and difference'.
Teaching History Through Narrative
Humans are a storytelling species. Stories are ‘psychologically privileged’ in the way our memory treats them. Put simply, if we encounter new knowledge within a narrative, we are more likely to retain that knowledge. When possible history units of work will be taught alongside thematically linked texts during opprotunities such as: English lessons, whole-class reading, class story, RfP, home reading, For example, when studying the Romans Year 4 children share 'The Roman Diary' by Richard Platt as a clas read. Similarly, Year 3 share the text ‘Egyptology' whilst learning about Ancient Egypt. Year 6 read Freedom by Catherine Johnson during their study unit on Civil Rights . Narratives are also used within history lessons to bring time periods to life through story telling. All KS2 classes have a copy of 'Our Island Story’ to support an understanding, through narrative, of chronology from the Romans up until Queen Victoria.
Reading Across the Curriculum
In order to develop children's reading skills, our teaching staff plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the history topic being studied, or topics that have been previously studied. Additionally, the home reading provision includes arange of non-fiction topic related texts. Whole class reading lessons are also intentionally sequenced to develop children's background knowledge and widen their subject-specific vocabulary.
Aspirations For The Future
Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.
Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Historian:
Through the explicit and progressive teaching of History knowledge and skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson.
Approaches to day-today assessments include:
Prior learning checks, retrieval, mini-quizzes, prediction and anticipation activities, stop and jot, high-level questioning etc.
At the end of the unit, pupils complete and end of unit assessment activity.
Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time.
Year 5 engaged in a local histoy study with some oral historians . Together they learned about the history behind the adventure park in Meriden Park and how it has developed over the years. The children were involved in workshops to develop precision questioning skills required to interview someone regarding historical research The children were then able to use these skills to interview people from the local area about what their experiences were like at the local park, Meridan Park, since it's origins.
At St Anne's we have super talented and creative families who respond to our creative history homework themes in a truly individual and awe inspiring manner! See some examples below.
Partnership with families
Please see below the amazing range of history projects created by children and families at home.
Impact - How Do We Know Our Curriculum is Effective?
Do you enjoy History?
Freda – “I find it fascinating to discover what peoples lives were like before our own and what achievements mankind have had to get to where we are now. I spend lots of time buying books about history outside of school. I read lots of interesting things on the French Revolution, Greek Mythology and the Stewarts. I love history!"
What might a knowledge of history help you to do in the future?
Ethan – “You could go on to study it at A-Level and all the knowledge from primary education will help you with the new knowledge you acquire along the way.”
Laci – “You could grow up to be an archaeologist like the ones we have learned about. We could be the next person to make a famous discovery!”
High Quality Outcomes
The impact of our history curriculum can be seen in work in children’s curriculum books. Children have knowledge organiers, which outline key knowledge and vocabulary the children will be learning and teachers and children assess against these. The teacher uses mini assessments, inits to ensure learning is being retained. At the end of the unit, children complete a longer review of learning. Depending on the age of the class, this might be a knowledge test, an extended piece of writing or a double page spread which captures what they have learnt and remembered. Learning is revisited regularly.