Intent and Implementation
History Curriculum Statement of Intent and Implementation
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, historical themed assemblies occur half termly to further deepen children’s understanding of significant people and events over time with some assemblies dedicated to ‘history now’ themes for example the Kings Coronation.
At Westwood, our intent, when teaching history, is to stimulate the children’s curiosity in order for them to develop their chronological understanding, historical knowledge, interpretation and investigation skills. History enables children to develop a growing sense of their identity as a citizen within modern Britain by reflecting upon their knowledge of significant events and people, different periods of time and the impact these have had on the British Isles and the wider world. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
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 start their History journey through the ‘understanding the world – past and present’ area of learning. Here they will compare images from the past to those of the present day – 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 objects such as 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, Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison) and the study of how their local area has changed over time (Middleton – the world’s first railway).
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 an organised curriculum as they travel through time; starting with the Stone age, Bronze age and Iron age, 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 (industrial revolution) and Yorkshire (coal mining) over time.
In Early Years the children become familiar with chronological order through their daily routines and timetables as well as using our Tapestry learning journals where parents and carers are able to share meaningful and memorable events with the class teachers and these events are discussed and shared in class. Children develop an early understanding of events that are going to happen in the future and events that have already taken place. We use words such as today, yesterday and tomorrow as well as a long time ago, next week or in a few weeks.
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 person.
As children progress into Lower KS2 they learn to use and compare timelines (using vocabulary such as BC, AD and decade), use specific dates and time periods when events 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
In EYFS children name and describe significant people in their lives including people in their family, school and local community and understand that everyone plays a role in society. The children also develop an early understanding of democracy through promoting choice. They learn and understand the importance of rules and routines and that following instructions keeps us safe.
KS1 children are taught to compare things in their lifetime to that of the past (Victorian toys and pastimes), recount facts from a historical event (Great fire of London) and research the legacy of historical figures (such as Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong).
LSK2 children begin to understand what life would have 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 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.
In EYFS children develop a natural curiosity into past events and traditions through the celebration of harvest, Christingle and Easter. They then talk about some of the similarities and differences between religious and cultural communities. The children also use photographs as a powerful source of historical information when comparing their local environment in the past to the present day and discussing how everyday objects have changed from our grandparents time.
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 and question historical information. Sharing their points of view both orally and in their writing.
Continuing these skills into UKS2, children construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. Children learn to frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.