“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” ― Michael Crichton
Why Is History Important?
Learning to make a world of difference!
History provides identity; improves our decision making and judgment; and shows us models of good and responsible citizenship. It teaches us how to learn from the mistakes of others; helps us understand change and societal development; and provides us a context from which to understand ourselves and others.
History fires pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Children consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like and what beliefs & cultures influenced people’s actions. A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the past and that of the wider world. Our history aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Our teaching encourages pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We aim to help pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups, as well as exploring their own identity and the challenges of their time. The children should know and understand the history of our world as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. They are expected to understand historical concepts and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts.
Throughout the school we teach history to help children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, igniting their curiosity about the past and equipping them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary historical knowledge:
This ensures that pupils develop the knowledge of key historical concepts of chronology, continuity and change, cause and consequence, and similarity, difference and significance and use this to draw contrasts, analyse trends and create their own structured accounts. In doing so, children learn how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
We intend for our children to develop an understanding of 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.
Our curriculum is sequenced in line with the EYFS Statutory Framework (2021), Development Matters (2021) and the National Curriculum for History (2013).
Historical knowledge is taught explicitly in history lessons so that children know more, remember more and can do more.
Our history curriculum draws upon several powerful sources of knowledge: substantive knowledge e.g. the Roman conquest of Britain began in 43 CE, disciplinary knowledge e.g. how we construct understanding of life in ancient Greece from its pottery, historical analysis e.g. why did the Viking and Normans think they had the right to the throne of England? and substantive concepts e.g. how knowledge of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans helps understanding of the concept of ‘invasion’. Our curriculum recognises the complex inter-relatedness between substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
We have planned a strategic sequence of study that builds content and concepts over time, with vocabulary comprehensively structured and thoughtfully sequenced across year groups with progression in knowledge. It ensures that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon through successive years towards clearly identified year group learning outcomes. Wherever possible learning in history is linked to overall themes to enable children to add new learning to increasingly complex schemata that demonstrate the inter-relatedness of curriculum content.
To ensure our curriculum is taught to develop cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage we follow the stages outlined below:
1.) Substantive knowledge for each subject is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure our children learn cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage.
2.) Disciplinary knowledge as methods of historical enquiry is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to enable children to apply their knowledge as skills.
3.) Explicit teaching of vocabulary is central to children’s ability to connect new knowledge with prior learning. Teaching identifies Tier 2 words, high frequency words used across content e.g. influence, and Tier 3 words, specific to subject domains e.g. civilisation
4.) Spaced retrieval practice, through questioning, quizzes and peer-explanations, further consolidates the transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory. Quizzing etc are primarily learning strategies to improve retrieval practice – the bringing of information to mind.
5.) The use of knowledge organisers and knowledge notes for some subjects keeps essential information together to guard against split-attention effect. Children are taught to forge connections between their current learning and the ‘big picture’ of subject content.
Our Early Years Curriculum is carefully planned and implemented to enable children to achieve the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). Through the Understanding the World goal children learn about similarities and differences with images, stories, artefacts and accounts from the past. They organise events using basic chronology and recognise things that happened before they were born. ELG objectives with history content are mapped against Key Stage 1 objectives to ensure teaching is sequential throughout the school, building upon the children’s prior learning.
Lessons build on prior learning and teachers support children to learn and remember more through:
Our history curriculum ensures that children leave Claypole: