“We are not the makers of history. We are made by history.”
Martin Luther King JR
The aim of history teaching here at Evenwood C of E Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology and through this they develop a sense of identity, and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today.
At Evenwood, we believe history makes a significant contribution to citizenship education by teaching about how Britain developed as a democratic society. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving. We strive to promote a variety of historical skills, which support the development of knowledge, and skills through enriched cultural capital and the provision of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge to develop long term memory. We believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. Therefore, we teach history termly, allowing children to build on their previous knowledge so that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning. Our long term plan allows each class to develop their prior learning from the previous year.
The objectives of teaching History in our school are:
- 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;
- To enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
- To develop a sense of chronology;
- To know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education;
- To understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture, and to study some aspects of European history;
- To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
- To help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
- To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
- To communicate historical information in a variety of ways including writing at length
Children will learn about areas of significant historical interest within their local area. In addition, they will learn about current topical historical events such as changes within the monarchy and important sporting events.
They will also experience the following:
- Possible trips and visits within the local area including trips to observe the changes of the coast, Eden camp, Hadrian’s wall and Beamish Museum.
- Online workshops with university lecturers to develop understanding on a topic.
- Workshops with specialist historians.
- Opportunities to explore artefacts from a specific period of history.
- Learning about and celebrating historical events such as Bonfire Night and St. George’s Day
- Learning about local history such as the Bradford Brothers and the impact they had on the North East
Our History curriculum design is based on principles derived from evidence through cognitive science:
- Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
- Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to the principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schemas. Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are further promoted in History. Within each topic, a ‘Big Write’ is completed reflecting upon scientific knowledge. This is not necessarily a standalone genre of writing but may be a conclusion or evaluation within a lesson.
Skills and Techniques
As well as learning the historical skills, learning vocabulary, dates and facts the children will also learn key skills including:
- Identifying trusted sources
- Using a timeline to understand when key eras or events from history occurred in relation to each other
- Asking perceptive questions
- Critical thinking
- Developing perspective and judgement
These techniques are repeated throughout the years, so that the children can build upon and refine their skills in each area. These skills are also transferable, meaning our children can apply them to other subject areas and which will stand them in good stead later in life.
In the Early Year Foundation Stage, History makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world. We do this through activities such as through activities such as finding out and talking about the past and present of their own lives and those of their family, or discovering the meaning of vocabulary (‘new’ and ‘old’, for example) in relation to their own lives. This is enhanced further, by providing the children with an enabling environment, where children use their own curiosity to explore and investigate the world around them.
Throughout KS1 and KS2 children will have the opportunity to make links with other topics across the curriculum. For example, the KS1 significant person ‘Neil Armstrong’ will allow the children to use the knowledge they gain throughout this topic and apply it in a Space topic within science.
In addition to our History lessons, children are given the opportunity, throughout the year the children will have, access to events ran by external companies as well as visits into school from external companies. Children will enjoy school trips off site that will help develop their understanding of a relevant topic.
Please see our Whole School Long Term planning to see what our pupils will be learning each year.
The intended impact of our History curriculum is that children build knowledge, make connections between this knowledge and use it to explore and create. The children will have a sound understanding of History in the world around them and gain a rich cultural capital. They will be given the opportunity to develop historical skills, which they will continue to develop and practice throughout their whole school journey