The teaching of history at Greystones Primary School
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Greystones Primary School - History Curriculum Statement
At Greystones Primary School, our history curriculum is aimed at enthusing children’s inquisitive nature and to have a strong understanding of how the past has influenced not only the world at large but their own individual lives. Alongside a strong knowledge of the past, there is a focus on three main historical skills woven through individual lessons: chronological understanding, historical enquiry and historical interpretation. These skills will equip children with the knowledge to question, analyse, think critically, understand different perspectives and form their own judgements of the past.
History is delivered as a weekly subject either over a full term or delivered in shorter half termly blocks. Although these lessons are taught as history and historical skills are taught, where possible links are made to the Global learning goals threaded throughout our whole curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to think as historians developing a strong understanding of chronology, differing interpretations of evidence, changes within periods of history (and across time periods) along with cause and consequence.
Our History curriculum covers the skills defined in the National Curriculum through themes which will challenge, motivate and inspire children. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils leaving in year 6 will be equipped with the tools needed to be successful historians in secondary school.
Lessons: Through KS1 the historical skills described above will be taught linking to people, events and changes from the past. This will give a solid foundation moving into KS2 where these skills will be developed and linked to different eras in history.
From KS2, all historical topics begin with a chronology lesson to show where this period of time fits in with previously studied eras. This will show the children how different eras affect the next and how things, such as inventions or housing, have developed over time influencing our lives today. The knowledge and understanding should be taught within the topics where appropriate and link to eras already learnt. Lessons will include opportunities for the children to explore artefacts and images to develop the children’s historical skill which also leads to opportunities for the children to discuss their personal thoughts and feelings on the topic.
Classroom environments: Classrooms are equipped with learning walls to aid in history lessons which include key vocabulary and knowledge. Timelines are used within the classroom to refer children to where the period studied fits in to the wider historical context and to develop a cohesive chronological understanding. Non-fiction and fiction texts, borrowed from the school library service, are available in classrooms to aid in developing the children’s historical understanding and where possible is linked to the wider curriculum such as in book study or English lessons.
Educational visits: Many of the historical periods of times studied at our school lend themselves to educational visits. Where possible visits, and visitors, are planned to enhance the children’s understanding of a particular era or element the pupils are studying. Most of these include an element of role play which allows children to experience the feelings and emotions of those who actually lived through it. These also allow the children to come into contact with artefacts which again enhance the children’s understanding of the period of time studied. We also use the local area and architecture where appropriate to show changes within the local environment.
History is assessed through teacher judgment and is monitored by the subject leader through a series of strategies such as book scrutinies and pupil voice which supports making accurate judgments of what the children have learnt and whether they are able to make use of the skills they have learnt. With these skills the pupils will be able to learn from the past to help inform and influence the decisions they make in their own lives.