Our intent

Our history curriculum seeks to give pupils a solid foundation and broad overview in some of the most important periods, events and themes in British and world history to provide a solid historical understanding, particularly before 1066 in preparation for the focus on modern history in secondary school. Using the National Curriculum as a guide we have organised content in order to develop an understanding of chronology
and recurrent themes, developing knowledge and skills which can be built upon as each pupil progresses through the school. Our approach to the design of individual units ensures that knowledge is built sequentially.

By providing opportunities for pupils to apply their knowledge and skills within applicable historical contexts we can deepen their understanding and foster independent thinking whilst assessing learning and progress. At the heart of our history curriculum are the three areas identified in our whole-school intent - change and resilience, celebrating differences and raising aspirations.

Our curriculum is ambitious in its approach. Whilst there are a set of discrete topics, which ensure that the breadth required by the curriculum is met, we have planned the lessons within each unit to explore themes, trends, similarities and differences which enable the children to make links between units. Their chronological understanding and analysis of recurrent themes are supported by the exploration of the Big Questions mapped
out in our wider curriculum document, which allow the children to reflect on their history topic within the wider context of their learning journey. For example, the concepts of civilisation and social hierarchies are analysed and contrasted through the lens of the Romans, Ancient Egyptians and Mayans. We have also made links across the curriculum to further develop knowledge, for example in Year 3, the children create cave
paintings in Art during their Stone Age topic and in Year 4, the children make a Viking meal during DT (food technology).

In order to bring history to life we are increasing our use of historical artefacts alongside high quality texts as a doorway to opening up and developing understanding of historical cultures. We use the Schools Library Service to access artefacts and texts, working closely with the school librarian to choose appropriate resources. Alongside our focus on developing pupils’ oracy skills and written responses, we use these primary and
secondary sources of evidence to enable pupils to construct informed responses and develop a reasoned criticality. We also aim to inspire and enrich the learning of our pupils through deliberate choices of trips, utilising the wealth of resources available to us in London but ensuring that pupils are fully prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to fully appreciate the significance of the relics they go to view. The impact of
this is particularly significant for our disadvantaged groups in order to develop their cultural capital and raise aspirations.

We value our local community’s history and aim to develop a sense of historical impact on the present, particularly through local trips, for example, our Year 5 children visit the Ragged School Museum as part of their Victorians topic. We also value workshops with local experts and are increasing our use of local historical sources, for example using local newspaper archives to explore the impact of World War II on the Isle of Dogs. We will celebrate Black History with a specially planned unit of work which is taught across the whole school, with topics that are chosen to reflect events in our national conversation or are pertinent to our schools demographic.

We recognise the importance that strong subject knowledge has on the quality of our history provision and we are currently working on implementing several strategies in order to improve this. One of these strategies is the creation of Unit Overview documents, ensuring that learning objectives and key skills are clearly set out for class teachers to use as a starting point for teachers. This also make links to the whole-school intent, ensuring that the topic furthers the children’s understanding of change and resilience, celebrating differences and raising aspirations.