At Westhouses Primary School, we view History not only as simple facts and dates but encourage pupils to become detectives who explore the past in an exciting way. History is taught mainly through a topic or thematic based approach and gives pupils a chance to explore a wide range of sources from which the past may come alive.
History lessons are underpinned by our History Skills in order to not only provide children with knowledge but also develop historical skills, allowing them to know more and do more, and encourage children to work as historians. History units are planned to ensure that lessons are built upon the key ideas in History and units always work towards children developing knowledge and enquiry skills:
Pupils will develop a sense of time and chronology
Pupils will use a range of historical sources
Pupils will have a clear understanding of local, national and international history and its impact on the World as we know it.
Pupils will have the opportunities to compare and contrast and make links to the differing historical periods
History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We teach children to be open minded and enquiring thinkers who understand cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life. We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts and wherever possible arranging field work visits to relevant sites of historical interest in the region or bringing in specialists for in-school workshops.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is a key driver for our curriculum.
In Reception, children will explore the different 'topics' through focused work and continuous provision around the classroom, with specific links to the Early Learning Goals. As pupils move into Key Stage 1, children continue to learn through topics, which link learning together in half termly blocks. As children progress into Lower Key Stage 2, they begin to focus on discrete areas of History and Geography, linking their learning to prior experiences. Our oldest children in Upper Key Stage 2 then begin to learn through thematic topics, such as Crime and Punishment and exploring Rights and Responsibilities in America: this allows the children to review prior learning and make deeper connections across time periods and concepts in geography. These units allow children to revisit prior learning and make broader comparisons within and across time periods.
The knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum are the backbone of teachers planning.
Planning is created by teachers, using the whole school scheme of learning, which is based on the Focus scheme.
At the beginning of each unit, children are given the opportunity to share what they know already, as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to how all learners will be taught, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
Through our history lessons, pupils should learn key vocabulary and be able to apply their historical skills to a range of historical enquiries (these skills are identified in our intent).
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and pupils are curious to know more about the past. Through this study pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We ensure that our pupils are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
Full scheme of work is available from school, but cannot be published on this site due to copyright.