HISTORY: At Freshfield, History forms an integral part of our Curriculum.
“A people without the prior knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
Our history curriculum is rigorously sequenced so that our children’s historical knowledge, understanding and skills build over time. We have selected and designed our units carefully so that our curriculum includes diverse narratives and voices.
Within our classrooms, we follow a rich and ambitious curriculum with purposeful and engaging units of work. We teach children the knowledge they need in small steps and develop children’s curiosity, encourage them to ask critical questions and enable them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and that of the wider world. In our history curriculum, we have thought about key concepts that run through the units of learning. These include invasion and settlement, legacy, empire, civilisation, monarchy and society. By carefully mapping these concepts across the units and revisiting them in different sequences of learning, we ensure children make links and gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, national and international history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Because we understand the importance of having a secure mental timeline to enable you to understand the world around you, we have ensured that our history curriculum is relevant to our context, our community and our children. Working collaboratively, the seven primary schools in Formby created a local history study. This ‘golden thread’ of local history has been interwoven into our progression map. It covers a number of historical events in the local area , and specifically Formby. Children will investigate significant events in Formby's history and investigate chronology, cause and consequence and significance. Please find further details here: https://www.flipschools.co.uk/about-5
In our EYFS, children begin to develop their sense of chronology by talking about their own life story and the life story of family members. They are supported to communicate in the past tense when talking about things that have happened. Our children explore images of the past and make comparisons with the present. In KS1 and KS2, history is taught as a discrete subject once each term.
Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the unit that will build on and develop the children’s knowledge and skills. In Key Stage 1, 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. They will start to know where the people and events they study 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 begin to make comparisons and connections between people and events in the past. In Key Stage 2, children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. This chronology, or sequence of events, will be referred to throughout KS2 so that children become secure in their understanding of important historical events and eras. It will also enable them to begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical concepts such as ancient and civilisation. The explicit teaching of vocabulary ensures that children can gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract concepts such as ‘empire’ or ‘legacy’.
Disciplinary knowledge has been chosen to best match each unit of work which progresses year on year. Opportunities to practise and embed this knowledge are planned for so that they are revisited and refined over time. We also maximise the opportunities that our home city of Liverpool has to offer in terms of its rich history and vast array of museums and cultural sites. Therefore, children’s learning in history is enriched by visits to carefully selected museums, where workshops and visit materials deepen their understanding and knowledge. Teachers also use the Historical Association’s wealth of resources to develop their subject knowledge.
One of the main purposes of the National Curriculum for History is to help children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. In order to build a coherent, chronological narrative from the earliest times to the present day, we use a carefully constructed timeline which shows the different units children study in Key Stage 2. This allows pupils to gain historical perspective by making connections across short and long timescales and by relating their growing knowledge of periods taught to their chronological context. Using this timeline as a starting point, children sequence events, stories, pictures and periods over time to show how different periods relate to each other and to develop a coherent understanding of the past.
How we evaluate learning in history - assessment
The impact of our history curriculum can be seen in the children’s books. The detailed unit overview outlines the main learning objectives that the children will explore and answer during their learning. The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the learning is planned for regularly to enable the children to see how their learning is progressing. Knowledge organisers support learning at home.
Our history curriculum is built upon high levels of repetition to ensure that our children can do more and remember more as they progress through school. Children’s learning is assessed informally in lessons and teachers plan responsively to next steps. Retrieval activities are built into the sequence of learning and provide evidence for assessing against the substantive statements on the Unit Overview. Substantive and Historical concepts are repeated in multiple year groups in order to develop resonance. Concepts are unpicked, defined and put into context to support the children’s immediate understanding of the period being studied, whilst also broadening their wider understanding of history as a discipline. During the course of their history learning, we share significant amounts of substantive knowledge with our children. This is planned for and structured so that children are given the opportunity to recall key elements of previously studied content; ensuring that it is further embedded in long-term memory.
We believe that assessment in history is more than just knowing facts and dates. We assess the children’s ability to apply their knowledge with a final assessment piece at the end of each project. This provides information on the children’s ability to use a combination of substantive, disciplinary and procedural knowledge. The end of unit assessment comprises an unseen source that is related to the period of history that has been studied. The children analyse the source, using the knowledge and skills they have developed. This is used by teachers to provide information on how well the children are learning the curriculum. They are carefully designed and require the children to recall their knowledge about the unit in a variety of ways (for example: sorting objects from different periods and explaining their function, describing the significance of key individuals from a period studied or analysing sources). At the end of the year, class teachers then use the children’s recorded work and assessment to make a judgement as to whether each child is working at the expected level.
Please click here for more detailed information about History learning in each year group.