History at Whitehouse Primary
At Whitehouse Primary School our History curriculum is designed to inspire children to think like historians and ask questions through an enquiry-based approach about the past. We aim for children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of both Britain’s and the wider world’s past, through learning topics in a chronological order, especially throughout KS2. At the heart of our history curriculum are the significant events and people that have shaped the modern-day world.
Our history curriculum will help children understand the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of society and understand relationships between different groups. It will equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. History 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 history to be taught both discreetly and through a cross curricular approach. We aim to promote children’s moral, social and cultural development helping them to have a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their right and responsibilities to other people and the environment. They are encouraged not to form stereotypes of places and people as they understand we are all similar in so many ways. Planning is centred on the National Curriculum programmes of study, but also is threaded through the curriculum and lessons, through our Decade day.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, there are seven areas of learning where the theme of investigation and talking about what can be discovered run throughout, the children are encouraged to investigate what they have seen/discovered. Specifically pupils work through objectives within the ‘Understanding the world’ area of learning where they talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
Key Stage 1
Throughout KS1, we explore the children’s curiosity of who they are and how they are the same or different from others, building on the children’s prior learning of families in EYFS. This enables children to develop their knowledge and appreciation of their local area, heritage, special memories, custom and traditions and growing up. The children talk about memories, a timeline of their life and toys through time. They will look at similarities and differences between toys of today and toys from the past. In Year 1, children develop the skills to compare the past to their physical present. In year 2, we progress to learning about an ‘event’ in the past, and exploring how the event would be different in the present.
Key Stage 2
The principal focus of history in KS2 is to enable pupils to develop their chronological understanding by learning about a wide range of periods in history. In lower KS2, the children are introduced to the ‘Stone Age to Iron Age’ which then leads onto the Ancient civilisation of ‘Ancient Egypt’. These topics then links chronologically to the Autumn topic of the Romans in Year 4, who then move onto the Tudors in Summer Term. In Year 5, through learning about ‘Ancient Greece’ allows pupils build on prior learning and knowledge relating to Ancient Egypt (an earlier civilisation in Y3) and also develops a chronological awareness and an understanding of how both the Egyptians and Greeks impacted on modern life. They also learn about ‘The Vikings’ and then ‘World War II’ all topics in Year 5 moving each term in chronological order. The WWII topic builds on the previous topic in that it enables pupils to make comparisons between natural and human-created disasters. It will also prepare the children for further study about war and conflict in year 6. Finally, in Year 6, children learn about the ‘Victorians’. This topic builds on previous historical knowledge about toys in Year one and builds on the theme of Roman ‘builders’ from Year 4 with a focus on the technological advances (railways, bridges, factories) during the Victorian era. It also prepares pupils for how technological advances (railways, bridges, factories) changed and impacted on events studied in the summer term. Building on prior learning about the Victorian Empire and its technological advances, pupils have developed the emotional maturity to understand the complexities of there final history topic of World War I. The children compare it to prior study around the impacts and themes of war (Second World War in Y5). Also to prepare pupils for secondary readiness this topic includes the skills to be able to weigh up evidence to support an argument and the demands of independent study.
At Whitehouse Primary School, we have built our inclusive history curriculum around a progressive framework that ensures knowledge, skills and vocabulary are firmly embedded in children’s long-term memories. Teachers planning allows children to be repeatedly exposed to key historical vocabulary which is appropriate and accurate, and which develops and evolves from EYFS through to KS2.
Most of the history themes in the Foundation Stages are taught through the early learning goals that focus on understanding the world. They focus on talking about the past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They also know the similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
In both Key Stage 1 and 2, History is taught for at least 1 hour per week. Where possible, links are made to the current class project and cross-curricular links are made with other subjects. Children collect, analyse and present a range of data, gathered through experiences of fieldwork, to deepen understanding of geographical processes. Educational visits and trips are planned to support learning outside of the classroom and providing first hand learning experiences to deepen knowledge and understanding.
Enquiry based learning in KS2, provides opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about a time period through using artefacts. Children answer their own questions through using both primary and secondary sources. Encouraging the children to answer their own questions through enquiry based learning either independently or when solving problems collaboratively with their peers.
Ensuring a range of cross-curricular opportunities to develop and consolidate pupil’s learning through our Cultural, European and International studies weeks, as well as our Decade Day.
As children progress throughout Whitehouse, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of local, national and international history.
Children will understand and use the key skills of chronological understanding, knowledge and understanding of events in the past, historical interpretation, historical enquiry and organisation and communication.
Pupils are able to speak about historical ideas using age appropriate and content specific vocabulary confidently and with interest.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at Whitehouse have thoroughly enjoyed learning about history, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.