Why do we study history?
We want all our children at the Spinney school to understand that history is the narrative of the past and by learning about the past, they can better understand the world they live in today and make informed decisions that will shape the future. They will be inspired to think of consequences of actions on a bigger scale and consider their role now and in the future.
We want the children to leave the Spinney being able to ask critical questions that enables them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and that of the wider world. Importantly, through studies of different cultures and historical perspectives, Spinney children will be more able to show respect, tolerance and empathy. The children will leave the school in year 6 having a good chronological understanding and have good substantial knowledge of the areas of history they have studied, and they will be able to articulate how one time period links to another. They will understand that our past is constructed from a range of sources and they will be able to determine the validity of these sources and use them to interpret the past. Furthermore, the children will have an understanding of abstract concepts and give examples of events in the past that demonstrate these (e.g. empire, democracy, nation, authority). We want to ensure the children are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life in the wider world.
Links to English:
As with all subjects in the curriculum, the humanities provide the powerful knowledge that, if thoroughly and securely taught, builds the wide and secure vocabulary acquisition that underpins literacy and all successful communication. We know that pupils only read with the speed necessary for fluency when 5 they have adequate prototypes for abstract words and phrases, and when their densely structured schemata allow them to ‘chunk’ the incoming text for meaning. Vocabulary size is the outward sign of the inward acquisition of knowledge. Moreover, the types of account that form each subject’s processes and products – its narratives, analyses, arguments – give pupils continuous, focused practice in reading and writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Pupils reading and will always be richly grounded in stimulating content in which pupils will be increasingly secure, and always driven by a clear disciplinary purpose.
How we plan and teach History
History is taught every half term and through a knowledge and vocabulary rich approach. Lessons are carefully sequenced across the curriculum to ensure that each unit will build on and develop the children’s substantive knowledge, their understanding of historical disciplinary concepts and provide all of the vocabulary needed to meet later topics with confidence. The scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing of the content has all been considered to ensure that the learning is organised in the best way to allow pupils to make progress and to thrive in their study of the subject. KS1 follow a bespoke History Curriculum created to follow the National Curriculum and suit the needs of our children. in KS2, The Haringey Educational Partnership curriculum is used as this curriculum covers all of the required concepts below.
History at The Spinney explores:
Chronology: how the past fits together through time, looking at scale, duration and concurrence
Continuity and change (or similarities and differences): the changes that were made over time or things that stayed the same like housing, society or beliefs
Cause and effect: understanding what caused certain events to happen and the impact that they had - knowing that events might have had more than one cause and/or effect
Significance and interpretation: understanding the significance of certain periods, people and events and why they were significant; interpretation is how we view these things and what causes us to view them that way - what evidence do we have of it
Historical enquiry - trying to find an answer to a question or a response to a statement that gives us a satisfactory conclusion using evidence, logic and reasoning
Sources of evidence: understanding the different types of sources, their effectiveness and the ability to question them in terms of bias and reliability etc.
Alongside historical knowledge, the children at the Spinney learn historical skills. As the children progress through the school, they will develop their enquiry, interpretation and communication skills.
Our curriculum is mapped to enable children to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time, progressing through the curriculum from local, to British and world history.
In KS1, they will start by learning about chronology through events from their own past and their families past. They will then learn about people and events from their locality. Their studies fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. As they progress through the key stage, they will demonstrate a growing confidence and accuracy when using historical vocabulary, such as ‘evidence’, ‘explorer’ and ‘artefact’.
In Key Stage 2, children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of local, British and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study, begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms such as ‘ancient’ and ‘civilisation’. The explicit mapping and rigorous teaching of vocabulary ensures that children can gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ or ‘parliament’.
How we evaluate learning in History
How does the study of History directly foster moral values, attitudes and the disposition to challenge and and improve our world?
Given that they uniquely address the study of humans in society through time and their interaction with the planet, the humanities subjects provide distinctive contributions to pupils’ overall education. If scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing are properly configured, these subjects foster the knowledge, skills and dispositions for pupils to:
● thrive through informed curiosity about the world
● view human challenges, quests and achievements through the lens of the long traditions that have shaped them
● think critically about how to change the world for the common good
● gain the language and concepts to notice, analyse and question how power works in society, and how inequality or suffering arises
● understand and value the diverse experiences and contributions of others who may be very different from themselves
● enrich their own sense of identity as they look across time, space and culture and see many positive versions of themselves
● understand the power of learned communities working collaboratively to seek truth in their claims about the world
● gain the concepts which give them the tools for precise thought and rigorous argument with which to describe, explain and change the world
● build strong standards of truth about the conditions under which valid claims can be made about the world, society, culture and belief, on multiple scales
● appreciate and participate in the arts – music, art and literature – through richly diverse artistic outputs within the many sources studied, properly understood in their cultural, temporal and geographical contexts and providing richly informed stimulus for pupils’ own creativity