Our History curriculum is based on the learning objectives set out in the National Curriculum 2014 document.
Children have a natural curiosity and enjoy discovering about the past. History enables them to consider how the past has influenced the present, how societies organised their politics, and how beliefs and cultures have influenced people's lives.
Our history curriculum includes termly topics for all children from Reception to Year 6. We aim to offer a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background. Therefore, because of this, we feel it is important for the subject to be taught discretely, as well as incorporated within other curriculum subjects such as English, Art, R.E and Science. Through this approach, children will then hopefully develop a chronological knowledge of British, local and world history.
The intent of our history curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. The history curriculum at Ashcott Primary School makes full use of resources within the immediate and wider local area enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality (trips to local sites, local historical artefact hiring, local visitors as well as staff knowledge/expertise of the local area). In September, our curriculum always starts in Somerset giving us the opportunity to provide children with a historical (as well as whole curriculum) look at where they live. From there we ‘travel’ out to other parts of the world across the year, learning about different aspects of history/areas of world history as we go. However, there is always strong emphasis on people and the community of our local area throughout history and this will be referenced throughout the school year.
Our history curriculum aims to excite children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians. We encourage regular references to timelines and discuss how different topics fit together, as well as a hands on approach involving artefacts and outreach programmes (trips/visitors) to bring history alive to the children. Regular use of ICT is promoted as a key tool to help children understand more about their topic focus, as well as to research for further information and to create presentations about their learning.
In Key Stage 1 the children explore lives and events of people within and beyond living memory including people such as Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria and examine events such as the Great Fire of London. They look at their own family history and study local traditions such as Harvest and Bridgwater Carnival. Children learn about what life was like living in Somerset and how it has changed since Victorian times.
In Key Stage 2 they explore key events in local history such as the English Civil War and the Battle of Sedgemoor, the Romans, Saxons and Vikings, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient British History such as the Iron Age and Bronze Age. They will also study an ancient civilisation such as the Mayans or Benin. A historical theme through history will also be studied such as 'Explorers' or 'Monarchs'.
By the end of Year 6, we aim for children to have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for, with strong links between the history curriculum and morning English lessons enabling further contextual learning. Children have the opportunity to display their learning on class boards in the school hall, as well as end of year performances (e.g. Go for Gold- linked to Ancient Greece), often being linked to the class topic which adds another dimension to their learning/understanding of a period in history.
The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum and will (where possible) feature a trip or a visitor to enhance the children’s learning and understanding of the focus. History is brought to life through visitors coming in to school for themed days and visits to local areas of historical importance such as the Roman Baths and Glastonbury Abbey. The children take part in annual performances often with an historical theme, bringing history alive and enabling children to be immersed in the period.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Outcomes in topic and English books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge.
Children show a good understanding of the different periods of history they have been learning about and also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic. Regular heritage projects provide further relevant and contextual learning, engaging members of the community in children’s learning and providing positive role models from the community for children to learn from.
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 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 and they are able to take this learning with them as they move on to their further education.