At St. Mary’s we aim to help all children develop an understanding of time, place, people and events through the effective teaching and learning of the knowledge skills and understanding of history. We used the National Curriculum History Guidelines as the basis for our scheme of work and have made meaningful links with the other subjects of the curriculum. Our aim is to ignite a curiosity to learn about the past that will help children understand who they are and how their environment and the world has changed over time.
- To promote curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world.
- To consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like and the politics involved.
- To consider how beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions.
- To develop their knowledge of significant events and people.
- To introduce pupils to historical enquiry through studying evidence, asking questions and problem-solving.
- To enrich and support other areas of the curriculum.
At St. Mary’s, History is taught as part of a half-termly topic and ensures that history has the same importance as given to core subjects. Our young historians are given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.
History is a key subject in the Primary Curriculum and pupils will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History helps pupils to understand 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.
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in humanities lessons. Our main aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of historical topics. Each history unit has been organised to offer children opportunities to learn in different ways. These include:
- Whole class teaching.
- Group, paired or independent work.
- Use of ICT resources.
- Studying artefacts.
- Research and explorative work.
- Providing as many cross-curricular links as possible.
- Fieldwork and educational visits (each class undertakes at least one educational visit per year which plays a vital part in enhancing their learning).
Children in EYFS are given a secure grounding in the Prime Areas of learning, ensuring they have a good foundation on which to build through the specific areas, including ‘understanding the world’. Areas of provision are enhanced to ensure vocabulary understanding is extended and so pupils develop an understanding of the past, present and the difference between the two.
Key stage 1
Pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. Pupils are taught about:
- Changes within living memory.
- Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries]
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. [for example, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, and Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Key stage 2
Pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Pupils are taught about:
- Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
- The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
- The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
- Two local history studies: Denton’s Hatting past and the impact the World Wars had on Manchester.
- A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
- The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of Ancient Egypt.
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world.
- A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Mayan civilization c. AD 900