The aim of the history curriculum is primarily to develop pupils’ enquiry skills, acquire important historical knowledge and develop critical analysis of evidence. The curriculum also aims to include the city’s own rich history and heritage within the context of the area and its pupils and make use of the resources within the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the history of their locality., In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Eastfield aims to ensure that all pupils: Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past; Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement; Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
History is taught in units throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. British history is taught chronologically in Key Stage 2; it is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and knowledge and skills are planned around the 4 big historical concepts- Similarity and Difference, Cause and Consequence, Continuity and Change and Significance. Teaching may focus on a particular category such as political, economic, social/cultural, technology and religion in order to make it easier for children to identify and understand key concepts in more depth. By the end of year 6, children will 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 Egypt, Greece and the Mayans.
Overall pupils should develop a sense of historical perspective, placing their growing knowledge into different contexts and understand connections by the end of Key Stage 2. In Key Stage 1 pupils will focus on studying famous people, places and events from the past and making comparisons to their lives now. Pupils will also focus on using sources, asking questions and interpreting the past to build up and develop their understanding of the past at a pitch and expectation according to each key stage. When planning a unit of work, knowledge of the period underpins the foundations of the lesson whilst developing understanding around one or more key historical concepts. Prior knowledge of the four main conceptual ideas in history will be considered when planning as well as progression in chronological understanding of a historical period and the understanding of abstract terms relating to history and subject-specific vocabulary. 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 literacy books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. 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.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
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