Our History curriculum includes half termly topics informed by the national curriculum for all children from Year 1 to Year 6. We aim to offer a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our History curriculum is accessible to all, maximising the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. It will inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past and is structured to ensure that learning is sequential and cumulative. Teaching will 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. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background. Because of this, we feel it is important for the subject to be taught discretely as well as incorporated within other curriculum subjects such as English and Art.
Our History curriculum aims to excite the children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians. We use the Cornerstones Curriculum to help us to achieve this aim. This is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school.
By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans. They will be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. To ensure connections and comparisons can be made, each KS2 history topic must focus on five aspects: food, clothing, houses, beliefs and achievements. By doing so, children can build a bank of knowledge of how these different aspects have developed throughout history. Each history topic is supported by a topic box of resources, which includes costumes, primary and secondary sources, and knowledge organisers.
Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the classroom. At Thornaby Church of England Primary School, the children have many opportunities to experience history on educational visits. The children will explore local museums and engage with visitors in school to share history learning and participate in ‘hands on’ experiences.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follow the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in Reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
The history curriculum at Thornaby is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills together with discreet vocabulary progression within the units of work. Outcomes in topic and literacy books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
• Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
• Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
• Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
• Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
• Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
• Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
• Marking of written work in books.