We have carefully designed our history curriculum to provide a programme of study which enables pupils to achieve the aims of the National Curriculum before the end of Year 6. The content has been selected specifically to help them gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Where possible, children learn about the past through primary, first-hand sources, for instance, artefacts and photographs and secondary sources such as websites, articles and information texts. We also make use of our local area to pursue historical inquiry as well as discovering how life and society have changed over time and subsequently impacted our current lives.
Opportunities are planned in for pupils to explore a range of worldwide historical figures and learn about how their achievements or actions have impacted society today. We aim to broaden their understanding of the past, but also the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Underpinning our history curriculum are key questions and historical skills designed to enable pupils to ‘work historically’ exploring topics, building on prior knowledge, asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments, and developing perspective and judgement. It also enables pupils to understand how historians investigate the past, and how they construct historical claims, arguments and accounts. To ensure learning is processed into the long-term memory regular low steak quizzes are used to revise and recall key knowledge.
The curriculum is progressive, including substantive knowledge, topics and skills that pupils must learn to accelerate later learning. This content is repeated throughout so that pupils can encounter it more than once, in different contexts, and secure in their long-term memory. For example, in Year 1, pupils study the lives of significant individuals and their international achievements such as Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. They then continue to explore the great impact women have had on society and how the roles of women have changed over time. Studying the likes of Amelia Earhart in Year 2, Anne Frank and Fatima Al-Fihri in Year 5 and Malala Yousafzai and Emmeline Pankhurst in Year 6. They will see Florence Nightingale again in Year 6 when they study the history of medicine.
We increasingly use high-quality non-fiction texts to further enhance the learning experience, for example, year groups in Key Stage 2 frequently dip into Steve Noon's ‘A Street Through Time’ to help visualise times in history. This enables our pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a topic through Reading and Writing.
We are currently planning enriching experiences, including trips and visits to enhance our history curriculum. This will be developed throughout the 2021-2022 academic year according to COVID-19 restrictions and the needs of our children.
Have a look on Twitter at the fantastic history work going on at St Luke's: #Stlukesburywidercurriculum
RECOVERY CURRICULUM – COVID 19 (September 2021 latest update)
Throughout school closures, history was still taught via remote learning through live lessons across KS1 and KS2. However, we recognise that learning will have been lost due to the pandemic.
Since returing to school in March 2021, summative assessment informed teachers of specific topics within the history curriculum that needed reinforcing or teaching in more detail. A bespoke curriculum was then created to enable these gaps in knowledge to be addressed and for children to have opportunities to explore key events or eras.
Teaching history remotely meant that opportunites for children to work historically were very limited. For example, pupils were unable to explore primary and secondary sources of evidence which reduced opportunities to develop skills in concluding and evaluating such evidence.
Therefore a priority for Autumn term is to provide children with experiences to explore primary and secondary sources, such as handling real life arefacts, visiting museums or places of historical interest and reading and watching accounts of historical events.