History is taught in order to give children an interest in and understanding of significant events and people in the past, the influences that they have on our lives today and to teach them to have empathy with others (understanding that modern views of society are different to those held in the past).
Aims of History
Children are taught to develop a sense of chronology and to understand society and their place within it. They are presented with opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation through a variety of activities. Pupils experience real history through themed days within school e.g. China, The Victorians and performances like the Oliver Twist production, visits to local historical sites and walks around the local area looking for evidence of the past. Such activities provide a stimulus for cross-curricular opportunities, including speaking and listening, writing, drama and art and DT, like making replicas of Stone Age axes. We also use artefacts, visual resources and Information Technology to inspire children to learn more and stimulate their curiosity about the past
Children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present their ideas and findings to the rest of the class or the wider school. The Year 6 children produce and act in a special and thought-provoking Remembrance service each year which is watched by the whole school.
We recognise the fact that there are children of widely different abilities in all classes, and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
The Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children talk about their experiences and the lives of people around them, as well as developing an understanding of the past and comparing the past with now. This is part of the Understanding the World area of The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Staff respond swiftly to the children’s own child-initiated learning experiences, interacting in a way which moves learning forwards for all learners. Understanding the World activities are also planned as part of the teaching sequence, which all children will be involved in.
History is planned and delivered at Key Stage 1 (years one and two) in line with the National Curriculum. Skills are taught progressively from Reception to year 6, with opportunities for children to build on and embed their learning.
History makes a significant contribution to the teaching of English in our school because it actively promotes the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening and acting. We ensure that some of the texts that we use in class are historical in nature. Reports, diaries, letters, explanations and recording information will all develop children’s writing ability.
The teaching of history in our school contributes to children’s mathematical understanding in a variety of ways. We teach the children how to represent dates from the past on time lines, thinking about chronological order. The children study people numbers and statistics on events in the past, like the numbers involved in the Second World War. They also identify distances travelled and catalogue artefacts correctly.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE), citizenship and the new Relationships Education
History contributes significantly to the teaching of PSHE and citizenship. The subject matter lends itself discussing the nature of groups of people, their ideologies and how they behaved. It also lend itself to discussing how and why people changed.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values
We encourage the children to reflect on the impact of mankind on our world and explore how people have behaved in different civilizations, like the Romans and the impact this had and still might have. A number of important world-wide acknowledgements, like Black History Month, are covered in our collective worship sessions. We help children to develop their knowledge and understanding of different cultures, so that they acquire an understanding of how we are where we are today as a culture.
Information and communication technology enhances our teaching of history, wherever appropriate, in each key stage. Children use ICT to enhance their skills in data handling and in presenting written work. They research information through the Internet and libraries of digital images (e.g. what life was like for an evacuee).