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.
Planning and Delivery
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 Early Islamic Civilisations. 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 use the Ancient Egyptians as a stimulus for their dance unit in PE.
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 school’s demographic.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In Early Years at St Luke’s, children will learn to:
Comment on images of familiar situations in the past.
Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past
Know some similarities and difference between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
In practice, this will look like:
Children talk about their friends, their families, and why they are important.
They share photographs of their families, friends, pets or favourite people.
They might talk about their holidays or what they have done at the weekends.
Looking at pictures of themselves as babies and talking about how they have changed.
Children watch PowerPoints and talk about the soldiers. Make poppies to wear.
Special Education Needs Provision
Teachers will plan activities according to the needs and abilities within the class, differentiating for specific needs. The needs of children on the SEND register will be accounted for and appropriate to their IEPs, with reference to the SEN policy. Teachers must ensure all children are able to achieve the best possible outcome in history.
Continued Professional Development
The subject leader leads on the CPD for the subject, based on the needs of individual teachers, and wider school priorities. The subject leader is currently participating in a long-term CPD project led by Tower Hamlets Education Partnership, in collaboration with colleagues from other schools on the Isle of Dogs.
We recognise the importance that strong subject knowledge has on the quality of our history provision.The subject leader provides teachers with a Unit Overview and Knowledge Organiser for each topic, ensuring that learning objectives and key skills are clearly set out for class teachers to use as a starting point. This also makes links to the whole-school intent, ensuring that the topic furthers the children’s understanding of change and resilience, celebrating differences and raising aspirations.
The history subject leader will monitor the teaching and learning of history with reference to the expectations of our unit overviews and curriculum intent. Monitoring will take place in the following ways:
· Termly scrutiny of topic books
· Pupil surveys