At St. Paul’s Catholic Primary School we aim at firing up pupils’ curiosity to ask questions and know more about Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
History topics will be placed into a chronological framework to help children develop an understanding of period and to make sense of the new knowledge they acquire.
This will also allow them to understand key concepts like change, continuity, causation and consequences leading to a growing understanding of the present.
Our aim is for children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods and to acquire a broad vocabulary to express themselves as historians.
Children will be taught to reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquire. They will create an awareness of how and why people interpret the past in different ways. Teaching history through English in KS2 creates many opportunities to teach this aspect of the curriculum at a greater depth and to develop a solid set of skills.
We aim for our pupils to become analytical citizens who are able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, collect and weigh evidence, consider a range of arguments and develop perspective and judgement.
Catholic Social Teaching
We want children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process and effect of change and the diversity of societies. Children will learn how to look for similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods, including their own lives. This will equip them with a better understanding of their own identity and the challenges of their time.
All subjects covered offer opportunities to discuss the themes of Catholic Social Teaching. By discussing changes in society over time, children will gain an understanding of the importance of solidarity, human rights and our responsibilities, care for the most vulnerable in our society and the respect for everyone as we are all created in God’s image.
History lessons involve many abstract thoughts and consider complex ideas. Many lessons require a considerable extent of reading and writing.
It is important that the curriculum is accessible to all children. We therefore ensure that we include auditory methods (based on listening and speaking). These help auditory learners but are also valuable for pupils with a SEND who find text-based work challenging.
Photos, drawings and paintings are regularly used as resources in lessons to help children visualise life in the past and in different civilisations.
Card games, sorting activities and role-play are engaging for all children and help them to develop their understanding of the information they have heard and read about.
Scaffolding, modelling, pre-teaching and revision of history specific vocabulary is part of our history provision to allow all children to express their understanding of the subject.
Small group and class discussions which form an important part of developing children’s oracy skills also help children with SEND to explore and develop their understanding.
Oracy forms an essential part of our history lessons as many subjects offer opportunities for comparing and contrasting events, lives and societal structures of the past and present. Children are encouraged to critically reflect on changes and differences and their pros and cons.
At St. Paul’s Primary School, History subjects are taught for one whole term. While History is taught every term in KS1 and UKS2, History is taught in the Autumn and Spring term in LKS2.
In KS2 one lesson per week will focus on reading, comprehension and research while three lessons will be taught through English. Additional 1 or 2 lessons will be taught in the afternoon linking history to Art and D&T.
In KS1 History will be taught during 1 to 2 topic lessons per week plus additional lessons in Art and D&T.
The aim of our History curriculum is to excite the children and develop a range of skills to allow them to become knowledgeable, competent and critical historians.
Focused historical enquiries are at the heart of our curriculum to encourage children to be inquisitive and to teach them how artefacts are valuable historical resources which hold a wealth of information and bring history alive.
Children are regularly praised for the skills they develop both in class and as part of St. Paul’s people and qualities of DESIRE.
Our curriculum is progressive and ensures that events are regularly referenced to timelines to gradually develop an awareness of the past and of chronology.
Teachers are secure at their subject knowledge and will teach and answer questions with confidence.
The use of historical terms will be part of every history lesson to familiarise the children with vocabulary that allows them to discuss past events and, especially in KS2, to confidently write about historical themes. Subject related vocabulary and historical terms will be displayed in the classroom. Opportunities for Oracy are planned for within lessons and regularly encouraged.
At the start of each topic, children write a list of “what I know” and “what I want to find out” to give teachers an initial understanding of the children’s prior knowledge and any misconceptions which need to be addressed. Teachers regularly assess children’s understanding in lessons; using discussion to probe and clarify any misconceptions.
Children will always be encouraged to look for similarities and difference between their own lives and the life of people in different periods. This will often be taken as a starting point to look for further artefacts as evidence for those differences or similarities but also to investigate why things were different and how and why situations changed. Children will, by the time they enter UKS2, reach the maturity and understanding to think themselves into the lives of people in the past and will be able to explain why people in the past acted as they did.
By teaching History through English in KS2, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects.
Weekly Art or D&T lessons linked to the current history topic will give the children the opportunity to explore materials and techniques used in the past and visualise artefacts better by re-creating them.
In KS2, we finish every history topic with a special project day to which the children are invited to bring in a project which they will have worked on at home over the term. This will allow them to share their knowledge with others and practise using their newly acquired vocabulary. Across all Key Stages, we often invite in experts or take the children on a school trip to enhance their experience.
Our History Curriculum is age appropriate, and is planned to demonstrate progression across the main skills: Enquiry, putting historical events into chronological order, confidently using historical terms and vocabulary, interpreting past events, understanding similarities and differences as well as continuity and change, researching causes and consequences of events in the past and drawing conclusions about the significance of past events on the present.
Children will develop their enquiry, research and communication skills to understand and interpret the past, to come up with conclusions and to communicate their findings.
These main skills are broken down into age related expectations for each mile stone: Year 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6.
Formative and summative assessment methods will be used to guide teachers’ planning in order to challenge pupils and address any misconceptions.
Children’s work in Topic- and English books as well as their Art-work and D&T-projects will be used for assessments and as evidence of their learning.
By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.