Meet the Leader
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
The value of History within our curriculum
Engaging children and young people in investigating questions about people and events in the past helps them to better understand their lives today, the contested nature of knowledge and prepares them for the future as more informed citizens.
Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum 2009 Final Report
Prestolee believes that developing a love for learning in History is crucial and we do this, by inspiring curiosity and providing children with the essential skills and knowledge to build upon and prepare them for the next stage, this in turn:
- Supports the learner’s understanding of the process of change, the diversity of societies, people’s lives and the challenges that have been faced and overcome in their society and the wider world.
- Provides them with the skills to think critically, justify and reason their own judgements using logical rational and evidence, allowing them to question, debate and discuss information, not just accept what they are told.
- Develops the understanding that the objectivity and reliability of all knowledge can be questioned as they are socially constructed.
- Allows learners to understand the diversity of the world and the people in it, thus allowing them to understand more about their own identity as a member of society.
- Enables the learner to understand core concepts and most notably cause and consequence, similarity and difference, continuity and change, change and progress/regression, significance, evidence, chronology, empathy, context, diversity, perspective, interconnectivity and validity which have broad relevance and significance in the modern world.
Prestolee aims to inspire inquisitiveness and interest about the past and the wider world, whilst developing coherent chronological knowledge and an enquiring mind. Our teaching of chronology, helps to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding, based on their historical heritage. This enables our children to learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multi-cultural Britain. We aim to provide the children with a rich and diverse history curriculum, equipping them with a coherent knowledge and understanding.
Our intention is to encourage pupils to learn through enquiry into periods of time, exploring the key concepts of significant events, social history, religion and economy, which allows them to develop a broad understanding of the complexity of people’s lives and historic events. We aim for children to reach conclusions and make judgements about the past, which they can communicate historically, whilst encompassing the British Values throughout. Local history is threaded throughout our history curriculum and we want our children to develop an appreciation for the people and events that are part of our local and national history.
In History, learning is facilitated through an enquiry based approach, which encourages the children to take increasing responsibility for their learning, think independently and achieve challenging subject outcomes. The curriculum has been designed to meet the needs and context of the pupils, whilst achieving the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is well- considered and structured, provides literacy-rich, cross-curricular opportunities and ensures progression and depth in learning.
Each topic has been carefully selected and designed, with the key knowledge and skills identified and mapped out to ensure clear progression across the topics and a depth of learning. The curriculum is designed to ensure that there is always a balance between new content and the development of key subject skills and outcomes.
Within the EYFS, History is integral to the Early Learning Goal of Understanding the World where pupils are encouraged and supported to “talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members”. In addition pupils “learn about similarities and differences” in relation to “objects” and “talk about changes” they observe. Our curriculum begins focusing on the key theme of significant events with a focus of exploring the changes to living memory, that the children can observe or have experienced, linking this to the lives of those around them and celebrating similarities and differences that are observed.
Across Key Stage 1, pupils continue to develop the key skills, knowledge and principals of working as a historian. Building upon the outcomes achieved by the EYFS, the children consolidate their knowledge of changes within their living memory, but begin to explore similarities and differences between themselves and the lives and places that are significant to their world. This progresses further allowing children to develop a wider historical understanding of events and people who are significant in History, beyond their living memory, then bringing this altogether by exploring significant people, places and events in their own local area of Prestolee. Children also begin to learn some of the ways in which we find out about the past and how events studied fit into the chronological framework.
Within Key Stage 2, the children begin to explore the earliest historical recordings of civilisations, and then move progressively through time, finally exploring the history of modern Britain. The curriculum is designed to build on what has already been achieved at EYFS and Key Stage 1 particularly continuing to develop a sense of chronology and identify connections, contrasts and historical trends over time in relation to the people and events that they investigate. Children will use an increasingly sophisticated and specialised subject vocabulary and select and organise information from historical sources, understanding that different versions of the past may exist and provide explanations for why some people and events in the past may be considered more historically significant than others.
At Prestolee each year group undertakes three half termly enquiries in History through a series of stimulating lessons which are planned, with clear knowledge and skills-based learning objectives and subject-specific. Teachers assess learning in history against knowledge and skills-based learning objectives within unit overviews. Enrichment opportunities, such as inspirational visits, educational visits and events, provide our children with rich experiences and enhance teaching, learning and knowledge. For example, IWM (Battle of Britain) Dewa Roman Centre (Romans) Yorvik (Vikings).
The use of the review phase is used to revisit prior knowledge across topics and key stages. These will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. Knowledge organisers are used for pre-teaching, to support home learning and also for topic reviews.
Our History curriculum allows teachers to promote the values of SMSC and British Values through the teaching and learning of democracy, tolerance and respect through the topics selected and the key concepts the children are exposed to. History allows pupils to develop both a knowledge and understanding of societies in history; exploring the changes in the hierarchy; role of women and living conditions during selected periods of time, but also allows pupils to develop their social skills, through debates, discussion, justification and reasoning, well-reasoned arguments and the skills to work collaboratively, as a leader or a facilitator. The teaching of history develops pupils cultural knowledge not only by exposing them to life beyond their experiences - both now and historically - and concepts, values and beliefs they may never otherwise experience, but also by exploring what shapes Britain’s culture and underpins the world and culture that they now live in, supporting them to reflect on their own cultural assumptions and values.
Our history curriculum is of outstanding quality and ensures that children develop and embed an excellent knowledge of historical events, a coherent understanding of chronology and an appreciation of the impact that history has on the modern world. Our children enjoy and love learning about history by gaining knowledge and skills, not just through high quality learning in the classroom, but also through a varied and well-sequenced selection of educational visits and visitors.
Our children are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary and are able to recall their learning over time, making links and comparisons between periods and how they have shaped the world today.
Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, our children become passionate historians, who are inspired by their topics, are curious to find out more about the past and have a love of history and a thirst that will motivate them to develop their knowledge for the rest of their lives.