History at GEMS

History Lead

Mrs Durnford

Curriculum Intent

Our aim at Godfrey Ermen Primary School is to encourage pupils to develop an appreciation and understanding of the past, evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources. Our historians will also be able to explain clearly how these sources give us an insight about how people around the world used to live and how these interpretations may differ. Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day.

Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum.

The National Curriculum states that ‘a high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.’

To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our History curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Key People and Events, Historical Concepts and Enquiry and Interpretation are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge. When covering each of these strands, the content will be carefully organised by each year group through a long term plan.

We also have smaller threads to ensure they can make connections through each year group. These are Houses and Homes, Religion and Beliefs, Diversity and Equality, Industry and Technology, Communication and Culture and Conflict and Power. Content knowledge, vocabulary and skills will then be planned for at a greater level of detail in the medium term plan. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils.

The History units taught have been developed to help children appreciate their own identity and the challenges in their time. It will help them understand the process of change over time and significant developments.

Implementation

All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections.

Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long term memory.

Consistent learning walls in every classroom provide constant scaffolding for children.

Subject specific vocabulary is displayed on the learning wall along with key facts and questions, and model exemplars of the work being taught.

Previous learning will be constantly revisited and teachers will encourage children to constantly compare and contrast. Learning is reviewed also on a termly basis, after a period of forgetting, so that teachers can check whether information has been retained.

History assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each topic where history objectives have been covered; an broader curriculum assessment is used to inform leaders of school improvements or skills that need to be further enhanced.

Our historians will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.

Impact

At Godfrey Ermen Primary School, our history curriculum offers high quality and well planned lessons which encourage progression.

Continuity and progression in the history curriculum is built around three core threads; Key People and Events, Historical Concepts and Enquiry and Interpretation. These are broken into Year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners.

The ‘Key People and Events’ thread helps us guarantee that learners’ history knowledge includes important people and events that have occurred within history. The ‘Historical Concepts’ thread is there to ensure that children are continuously developing their knowledge of chronology and the concept of time throughout each year. The ‘Enquiry and Interpretation’ thread helps pupils to develop the skills of a historian; to use a range of historical sources to interpret the lives of significant people and events in history.

We aim to do this in an engaging away by bringing history to life wherever possible. Furthermore, our history curriculum allows children with additional needs to find confidence in developing their skills as a historian, as well as challenging more able children to reach their full potential.

In order to ensure our aims have been met, we scrutinise the teaching of history through:

·    Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.

·    Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).

·   Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.

·    Sharing good practice in staff meetings.

·    Marking of written work in books against the schools marking policy.

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