At St Mary’s, we believe that history is an essential part of the curriculum; a subject that not only stands alone, but also is woven and should be an integral part of all learning. The intent for history at St Mary’s is to deliver the national curriculum in an engaging, exciting way.
History has had an impact on the lives and experiences of everyone today. We live in the society that has been shaped by significant events and people of the past. It is important for children to understand cultural, national and international history as a way of creating a shared identity and interconnections. An engaging and active history curriculum can help to raise cultural capital and develop connections through people and events in different places and different times. Through teaching history, the school aims to equip our children to use critical thinking and creativity to understand the way that the world is always changing. Interesting, inspiring and challenging events of the past give children an enthusiasm and intrigue that will feed into other areas of learning, as these skills are transferrable.
The history curriculum is taught through key concepts from Year One to Year 6. A ‘Big Question’ that is approached through smaller learning challenges introduces the children to historical topics. The idea behind a concept-led, enquiry based curriculum helps to focus learning and ensure a knowledge rich education to avoid a broad overview with shallow engagement in knowledge and understanding. By learning specific things, children encounter a broad range of knowledge whilst amassing a specific body of knowledge. This is taught to be remembered, stored in long-term memory and built on.
The school focuses on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to engage with the social, political and economic changes of the world around us. We will explore their attitudes towards history and how it has an impact on society in the modern world. History is an essential part of learning in the Foundation Stage as it is incorporated in everyday learning. The historical aspects of the children’s work relate to the objectives set out in the early learning goals (ELGs).
In KS1, the children will begin by learning about small snapshots of history by considering changes within living memory to help children to understand how history is always being made. They will also look at local history in order for children to understand how their homes have been affected by people and events around them, giving them a regional identity. They will start to look at history on a global scale by looking at significant people and events from the past.
In KS2, children will begin to study specific periods in a chronological order. Children will continue to develop the concepts of historical enquiry by beginning to differentiate between primary and secondary sources and make independent evaluations of historical events. They will be able to build up an understanding of chronology from ancient history to modern history.
A progression in skills and knowledge will help children to build on these skills through the primary curriculum and will equip them as they move into higher education and beyond.
Children at St Mary’s will be able to know more and remember more about history. They will be able to understand historical concepts and vocabulary and have an understanding of the events and people that have shaped the world that we live in today. They will have developed skills such as problem solving, asking and answering questions, testing and evaluating hypotheses as well as developing a sense of intrigue. The children will be well equipped to use these skills across other areas of learning that will allow them to progress in their learning as they move away from primary education.