At Parkhead Community Primary School we aim to foster an enjoyment and an enthusiasm for history and an appreciation of the past. We want our pupils to believe that they are historians. We believe history is a dynamic, engaging and relevant subject and through the study of carefully selected units, pupils can gain a greater sense of their own identity and place within the world. Our pupils learn history through accessing a range of high-quality historical sources that help deepen their understanding of the era and promote valuable historical discussion. Pupils will be taught to make links between their different areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links between both different periods of history and the present day.
We offer a curriculum which is designed to develop pupils’ understanding of the wider world and how the events of the past have shaped the world that we live in today. Our curriculum encourages curiosity, confidence, the ability to question ideas and prejudices and allows children to understand that multiple interpretations of a singular event can co-exist.
At Parkhead Community Primary School we aim to:
- foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
- Produce confident historians who understand how events in the past have shaped the past, their community and the wider world;
- enable children to know about significant events in British history, and the British system of democratic government, and to appreciate how aspects of society have changed over time;
- develop a sense of chronology by focussing strongly on historical vocabulary to allow pupils to deepen their understanding and communicate ideas using appropriate terminology;
- understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history;
- help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
- develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation so that they can understand and critically interpret events from the past.
History is taught as a discrete subject at Parkhead Community Primary School. As a school, we have carefully selected each year group’s history units in order to build progression and ensure that meaningful links are made. Underpinning our curriculum is the idea of disciplinary concepts which run through every aspect of history: chronology, change and continuity, similarities and differences, cause and effect and historical enquiry. From EYFS to Year 6, there is a clear progression in these skills and children in Key Stage Two are encouraged to identify the concept(s) they have studied thus giving them further opportunities to make links in their learning and construct an accurate image of the past. These concepts, alongside well-planned use of source materials, allow pupils to weigh evidence, scrutinise arguments, make connections and develop their own interpretations.
In every history lesson at Parkhead, children will be carrying out the work of a historian, they will have access to appropriate historical sources which they will be able to investigate, classify and prioritise. Their sense of chronology will be developed with the use of dynamic timelines which are personalised by the class teacher so that they reflect the needs and interests of the class and through the use of the correct vocabulary which will be modelled and scaffolded for pupils throughout the lesson. As children progress through school, their vocabulary is improved through consistent exposure to subject specific vocabulary, which is explicitly taught, modelled, displayed in classrooms and revisited.
Our history curriculum is based on the expectations of the National Curriculum and is designed to ensure progress and matched to the needs and interests of our pupils. Each year group will have the opportunity to work historically within their specific programme of study which develops knowledge and understanding of key concepts by providing a progressive curriculum building upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding previously taught. To further encourage retention of ‘sticky facts’ we hold regular ‘low stakes’ quizzes requiring children to recall key information from both their current topic and those previously studied. Developing the key skills of a historian is embedded within the content of our curriculum. Subject leaders use progression grids to ensure there is clear skills, knowledge and vocabulary progression throughout school.
Our children’s journey as historical thinkers starts in EYFS where children begin to think about special events in their lives and the people around them, drawing on their own experiences to think about how things were different in the past. As our children progress through to Key Stage One, they begin to study things that have happened in the past, relating this to themselves and how life has changed within living memory. Once our children enter Key Stage Two, they are introduced to new periods of history and are expected to place these into a wider context of chronology, gaining historical perspective by making connections between the periods of history that they have studied. We engage and enhance our children’s opportunities through educational visits, theme weeks and visitors as these play a key role in helping children to understand history in the context of real life. As a school, we use links to local museums to further enhance children’s understanding of history and help them to construct an accurate image of life in the past.
While a significant proportion of each lesson will be spent investigating discussing and prioritising historical sources, we also want our pupils to be able to write historically. This may involve evaluating the impact of significant events, discussing similarities and differences and, as children move to Key Stage Two, questioning the impartiality of a source and articulating their own interpretations and ideas. Pupils’ writing in history will take place in their history books.
Our history curriculum offers high quality and well-planned lessons which encourage continuity and progression in a curriculum built around essential knowledge (sticky facts), understanding and key skills within History. These broken into year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners in Key Stage Two.
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
- Frequent low stakes quizzes.
- Informal assessments in class and carefully planned ‘pop tasks’ at the end of a unit.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Sharing good practice in staff meetings.
We want children to leave Parkhead Community Primary School as confident, young historians with an ever-growing understanding of the changing nature of the world around them.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to excellent progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will therefore be expected to leave Parkhead, not only having met the National Curriculum requirements for history, but as competent and enthusiastic historians. They will be able to articulate and demonstrate that they have developed the historical knowledge, language and skills to help them understand the history of the United Kingdom and the wider world. They will demonstrate a good understanding of human attitudes and experiences, historical enquiry, and are able to make links between historical periods and the world in which they now live.