History is all around us and ever changing. At Westwood we offer a high quality, engaging History curriculum which is taught in context through our adventure approach to learning. The curriculum offer has been well mapped out in order to ensure progression of the 3 key historical concepts across year groups and key stages.
The teaching of History remains high profile across school with History being a key driver for a number of adventures. Through finding out about how and why our local community, British culture, Britain and the world have developed over time, children understand how the past influences the present and future.
In addition, we seek to further deepen children’s understanding using our ‘History Now’ half termly focus. Each month we focus on a popular topic of recent times for example Brexit or coronavirus.
History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events, periods of time and people. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. At Westwood, our intent, when teaching history, is to stimulate the children’s curiosity in order for them to develop their chronological understanding, knowledge and interpretation and historical enquiry.
At Westwood we teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. It is important that the children develop progressive skills of a historian throughout their time at Westwood and do not just learn a series of facts about the past. In History, pupils at Westwood, construct evidence from a range of sources to build informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. To do this successfully, as historians, they need to be able to research, interpret evidence (including primary and secondary sources), and have the necessary skills to argue for their point of view; a skill that will help them in their adult life.
In EYFS children begin with ‘understanding the world – past and present’. Here they will compare items from the past to those of the present – Using classic children’s stories (such as ‘peepo’ by Janet and Allen Alberg and ‘once there were giants’ by Martin Waddell children in EYFS consider how books, telephones, cots and prams have changed over time.
Progressing into KS1 children learn to develop a sense of time and begin to understand how the past influences what life is like now. At Westwood we look at changes within living memory (such as toys), events beyond our living memory (Great Fire of London, first aeroplane flight), the lives of significant others who have influenced our lives today (Christopher Columbus, Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale, Neil Armstrong) and the study of how their local environment has changed over time (Westwood, Middleton).
As they move into KS2 children expand their historical knowledge and are encouraged to become critical thinkers. They are taught how a range of historical sources allows us to construct a knowledge and understanding of the past and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, significance, similarity and difference. Children follow a chronologically organised curriculum as they travel through time; starting with the Stoneage, Bronzeage and Ironage, Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and Romans in Lower KS2 and moving onto the Mayan Civilization, Anglo Saxons and Vikings and Modern History (Tudors and WW2) in Upper KS2. In addition children further build on their local historical knowledge from ks1 as they study the development of Leeds and Yorkshire over time.
Chronological understanding –
In KS1 children learn to distinguish between the past and the present (use words such as before, after, then and now), sequence events from the past (such as old, new and a long time ago) and sequence events in the life of a significant other.
As children progress into Lower KS2 they learn to use and compare timelines (using words such as BC, AD and decade), use specific dates and time periods when things happened and compare and contrast how things have changed over time (such as the stone age and iron age).
Finally, in Upper KS2 children use their mathematical skills to accurately compare timescales, draw accurate timelines and place periods of history on a timeline.
Knowledge and interpretation –
KS1 children are taught to compare things in their lifetime to that of the past (Victorian children), recount facts from a historical event (Great fire) and research why Britain has a famous history (famous people such as Florence Nightingale and Neil Armstrong).
LSK2 children begin to understand what life would’ve been like living in the past. They can relate to the people of the time they are studying and they can suggest why certain events happened as they did or why people acted like they did during the historical period in question. Children learn to draw on a range of resources (books, pictures, internet) to help us build an accurate picture of how people lived in the past and are able to compare these things with life today.
Children in UKS2 progress their knowledge and interpretation by learning to summarise, describe, compare and contrast how historical events have shaped our way of life today.
Historical Enquiry –
Children in KS1 are taught to be inquisitive about the past. They learn to draw on a range of sources to develop their knowledge and understanding about the past and what they are learning about. They are taught how to research by using books and pictures, historical sources and speaking to people from older generations (parents and grandparents).
LKS2 children are encouraged to become critical thinkers. They are encouraged to research, question and question historical information. Sharing their points of view both orally and in their writing.
Continuing these skills into UKS2, children are taught to distinguish between the significance of key events and using researched information they argue why an event is more significant than another. They learn to appreciate how historical artefacts have helped us understand the past, test out a hypothesis and understand what we mean by ‘propoganda’.