History Curriculum Intent
At Far Forest Primary, we provide a high quality history curriculum that has been carefully designed to equip our children with a secure, coherent knowledge about British, local and World history. Curriculum content is knowledge, vocabulary and experience rich, delivered in a sequenced and where possible a chronological order. This allows our children to develop their understanding of abstract historical concepts as they move through school. Our curriculum reflects our locality and endeavours to ensure children are knowledgeable about their locality’s history and changes it has seen. Our history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love for learning about the past. Through an enquiry-based approach, children are encouraged to ask and explore historically valid questions and report their findings by drawing on skills from across the curriculum. Alongside the development of substantive knowledge, children will develop their disciplinary skills as they learn the fundamental elements of what it is to be a historian. Children will study a range of cultures and historical perspectives enabling them to be respectful, tolerant and empathetic. Children will leave Far Forest being knowledgeable about key people, events and time periods from the past and will weave these together from informed, overarching historical narratives.
Implementation- How Will We Deliver the Curriculum?
Each unit in our overview is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their disciplinary knowledge (historical skills). Each unit of work is planned carefully to ensure concepts are taught in optimal order to support children’s understanding. As well as developing a breadth of historical knowledge, we want our children to become skilful historians. Each unit has an emphasis on historical enquiry where children investigate historically framed questions whilst also developing historical enquiries of their own. In addition to substantive and disciplinary knowledge, children will develop their experiences and cultural capital through museum visits, trips, handling artefacts and engaging in carefully planned fieldwork.
Teaching Key Substantive and Disciplinary Concepts.
Our curriculum is refined yearly but it maintains a consistent knowledge base to ensure conceptual progression. Our mixed age classes mean that a 2 year cycle is adopted, Cycle A and Cycle B. We have identified a set of key concepts that children will repeatedly revisit throughout their time at Far Forest Primary, this will support children to really embed the knowledge and skills that they have been taught. Our progression and outcomes document maps this out clearly.
All of our overviews for each unit have a prior knowledge sections as well as vocabulary (Tier 2/3) vocabulary that the children have encountered previously to support retrieval and inform planning.
At Far Forest Primary, we strongly believe in children knowing more and remembering more. The key skills and knowledge for each topic covered across the school has been carefully tailored to meet the needs of our pupils. Furthermore, the vocabulary that the children are exposed to over the years is clearly outlined on plans so our pupils are encouraged to speak like e.g a historian, scientist etc.. This is modelled by all staff and training has provided teachers and TA's with the tools to create a vocabulary rich classroom that supports pupils.
Our curriculum is enquiry based with a key question driving the learning. Our tailored plans support our intent and provide opportunities for children to become critical thinkers, explore ideas, make connections and ask their own questions. See sample medium term plans below which outline how we plan and also how prior learning is not only embedded but developed.
Linking Curriculum and pedagogy
We have developed our curriculum to make learning stick. At the heart of our approach is retrieval practice and recapping. Units of work refer to previous learning e.g. ‘continuity and change’, ‘similarities and difference.’ For example, when studying the Anglo-Saxons, children make comparisons between Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon Britain e.g. inventions, leaders, role of women, farming etc. Our teaching of history is driven by an enquiry approach and seeks to capitalise on children’ curiosity and prior knowledge. The overarching enquiry is broken down into sub enquiries to give children a sense of incremental progression and make learning large chunks of learning more manageable.
Teaching History Through Narrative.
Where possible, history units of work will be taught alongside thematically linked texts during English lessons. For example, Year 3/4 will study the text ‘Egyptology’ when studying the unit Ancient Egypt, similarly Year 6 will study ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ when studying the unit on WW2.
Reading Across the Curriculum
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We use books not only to develop reading skills but also plan opportunities for children to read age-appropriate texts linked to our curriculum. We have invested heavily in supporting our history topics with Collins Big Cat titles that enrich the wider curriculum. Our English texts are aimed to be pitched above the reading age of pupils to provide challenge and also to expose children to a wide range of vocabulary to support their knowledge and understanding.
We will assess pupils knowledge and understanding in the following ways...