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History

Definition

History is the study of the past.

Intent

At Southville, we aspire to deliver a history curriculum that allows out children to take on the roles of amateur archaeologists who can draw conclusions from ancient relics; broad-minded analysts who can spot and discern historical trends; critically-minded evaluators who scrutinise and appraise historical evidence. Children will analyse the most significant events in the lives of those who have come before them: their triumphs and victories, their discoveries and inventions; their beliefs and ideals; their sins and crimes; their hopes and dreams. They will celebrate the heroism of figures like Mandela and Boudicca so that their exploits may live on as inspirations to the future youth; through the same studies, they will learn of the consequences of the evils of discrimination and bigotry. Our children are learning for the world of tomorrow – but only through analysing the mistakes and achievements of the past will they have built a foundation that will allow them to become the explorers, pioneers, inventors, activists, heroes and heroines of the future.

Our intent as history educators is to support our children in developing a mastery of historical skills and disciplinary knowledge. At Southville, we have identified these skills and divided them into the following categories.

  • Drawing knowledge from primary and secondary sources
  • Analysing trends across different eras of history
  • Developing the skills of historical enquiry to direct investigations and learning
  • Making comparisons and contrasts between societies in similar and different eras
  • Deploying a historically-based understanding of abstract terms
  • Evaluating the importance and significance of specific figures, events and actions upon history
  • Building historical arguments that built on an ability to sift and weigh evidence
  • Appraising the validity, usefulness and bias of primary and secondary sources
  • Sequencing and ordering key events in history

We believe that our curriculum has been strategically designed and planned to ensure that children are developing these skills in every year group and should make great progress in these skills across their time at Southville. Our aim is for children to be confident in using these skills in history lessons and beyond following their time at Southville.

Carefully selected skills are chosen to best match each unit of knowledge and progress year on year. Opportunities to practise and embed skills are planned for so that they are revisited and refined over time. The knowledge and skills that children will develop throughout each history topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. We also maximise the opportunities that our home city of London has to offer in terms of its rich history and vast array of museums and cultural sites. All units have a series of suggested “enrichment” activities which include specific home projects, school projects, theme days, dress-up days, visitors and trips. These have been carefully cultivated to ensure that children are kept as engaged and enthused as possible during their learning.

Through our curriculum, we intend for children to develop a strong grounding in both substantive and disciplinary knowledge. We define substantive knowledge in history as the knowledge of past events, people, societies and places – as well as understanding key abstract concepts which appear again and again as trends throughout history (such as invasion or economy). Building up an understanding of substantive concepts like empire, tax, trade and invasion is crucial to pupils’ comprehension of new material because they are abstract ideas, and therefore difficult to grasp, but are also used very commonly in history. We ensure that this is achieved by using appropriately challenging vocabulary in lessons, explicitly teaching these concepts, using them regularly in context and, sometimes, by assessing pupils’ knowledge of identified concepts. 

We define disciplinary knowledge as being an understanding of how historians investigate the past and construct historical arguments. This is developed through a very clear skill focus in every history learning intention. These skills have been mapped out across the different units and a clear progression of skills has been planned for. Children are explicitly told the history skill that they are developing each lesson to further build their disciplinary knowledge of how effective historians operate.

Developing these two skills hand-in-hand is vital to children making the best learning possible. For example, it is not prudent to simply give a child a definition for the word “revolutionary”. They have to be exposed to the term in various historical contexts and eras to truly embed a substantive understanding – and then utilise their disciplinary knowledge to analyse and examine whether the word Revolutionary could mean different things in different historical concepts. This style of teaching is beneficial for learning new substantive concepts – for example if a child understands the term “monarchy”, they will have a better grounding of knowledge to understand what an “empire” is the next.

An important intent of our curriculum is to ensure that it reflects the rich diversity and cultural heritage of our local area. We felt it was very important to ensure that children were exposed to a diverse range of significant figures in history – particularly those who have lead fights for civil rights such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Ruby Bridges, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mary Seacole, Malala Yousafazi and Emily Davison. Through these case studies, children compare the parallels in the struggles for racial and gender equality  We are committed to ensuring that our coverage of British History gives a truly reflective and accurate portrayal of the period of the British Empire – rather than a pacified, white-washed recollection of only the nation’s triumphs. Through our history units which look at periods of time past 1066, the children will learn explicitly about the positive contributions of BAME Britons to our shared history.

At Southville, we want our pupils to develop a true hunger and passion for learning about the people, places and events of the past. We deliver a history curriculum that focuses on developing pupil’s perspective questions, encourages pupils to think critically, weigh evidence and sift arguments. We want to deliver history in a way that feeds children’s curiosity, encourages them to ask critical questions and enables 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 threads that run through the units of learning.  By carefully mapping these themes 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 of local, national and international history; and between short- and long-term timescales. Most of all, we intend for our children to enjoy and thrive in our history sessions – which is rooted in our strategies for implementation.

Implementation

HISTORY CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
  Autumn Spring Summer

Nursery

Patterns and Routines

What happens next?

What are our favourite celebrations?

Reception

All About Me- Talking about familiar situations in the past- When they were babies, toddlers-Comparing to now.

Traditional Tales- Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.

Understand and Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now.

YEAR 1

Toys through the Ages

Southville and the history of school

History of Flight

YEAR 2

Events that shook Britain

People who changed the World

Castles

YEAR 3

Prehistoric Britain

Queens through the Ages

Ancient Egypt

YEAR 4

The Mayans

Ancient Civilisations

Ancient Greece

YEAR 5

Roman Britain

Saxon Britain and Viking Britain

British Empire

YEAR 6

Inventions of the Industrial Revolution

Feltham in the World Wars

Leisure and Entertainment over time

 

History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years). By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to 1066 – as is required by the national curriculum – plus a wider understanding of the ancient civilisations of the world and their impact upon the present day.

The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. In year 6, Children complete a local area which looks at the Two World Wars through the lens of Feltham’s local history – taking advantage of significant places in the Feltham area’s locale that contributed to the war effort – as well as tracking the experiences of local soldiers and refugees of the wars who settled locally.

Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. In addition, staff have access to the PlanBee plans and resources. The access to resources is designed to lower teacher workload without sacrificing any quality-first history education.

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.

Our Intention for Key Stage 1 History is to immediately engage children in the topic of history through broad areas of study which are relevant to their lives and lived experiences. This is very apparent in the Year 1 Curriculum, in which children look at how toys have changed over different eras; making comparisons between Victorian schooling and modern schooling; studying the history of flight – with a special interest in key local landmarks like Heathrow Airport and Hanworth Air Park. By Year 2, Children are looking at how the people, places, events and actions of the past shape the world of today. Our Year 2 children study the “Events that shook Britain” which allows children to complete analytical case studies of key British events like the Great Fire of London and the Black Death – before moving on to looking at how “People who Changed the World” like Ruby Bridges, Neil Armstrong and Emmeline Pankhurst left an indelible imprint on the world of today. Our children finish their study of history in KS1 with an expansive and engaging study of “Castles” – giving children a taster of the British History that they will study further in KS2.

From Key Stage 2 onwards, children’s learning in history is divided into three historical strands: British, World and Social History. We intend for children to know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative. To this end, children begin looking at Stone Age Britain in Year 3 and through the next two years, study the invasions and settlements of England by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings – taking children all the way to 1066. Children look at a wide range of ancient civilisations to give them a solid grounding in knowledge of world history from a range of continents and time periods. Children will explore the awe and wonder of Ancient Egypt, Greece, Sumer, the Shang Dynasty and the Mayan Civilisation. In each of the year groups, children will also look at elements of social history which will take their understanding of history past 1066. This includes a range of thematic areas: a comparative study of the changing power of monarchs through case studies of some of England’s most iconic queens; an evaluation of the positive and negative impacts of British Imperialism; an analysis of the impact of the inventions of the Industrial Revolution; and an enquiry into the changes in entertainment & leisure in 20th Century Britain.

Impact

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