Subject Knowledge Overview
Progression of Knowledge and Skills
How do we teach History?
At Bromham Primary School history education should be fully inclusive to every child. History matters to everyone: understanding our past helps us to understand what makes us human. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for history, providing opportunities for all children to access the curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for history.
Furthermore, we will inspire pupils to demonstrate a curiosity to ask questions about history that will provide the firm foundations for further education and begin to develop a fascination about history that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and chronological understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England). Pupils will develop substantive knowledge (knowledge about the past) and disciplinary knowledge (knowledge of how historians investigate the past and how they construct claims, arguments and account), promoting reasoning and inference to develop debating skills both verbally and in written form.
History teaching at Bromham Primary School has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to have the confidence to aim high, so that they enjoy learning about the past and to have a better understanding of the society in which they live.
The aims of teaching history in our school are:
- to inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
- to enable children to know about significant events and individuals in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
- to make progress in history through building on prior core knowledge ‘substantive knowledge’ and developing their knowledge of how historians investigate the past, considering claims, arguments and accounts which is described as ‘disciplinary knowledge’.
- to develop a sense of chronology;
- to know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education;
- to understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history;
- to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
- to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
- to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation, debate, interpretation, problem solving and presentation.
Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught discretely, but links are made where possible, for example studying The Ancient Egyptians in Year 4 History, will link to studying the location of Egypt and The River Nile in some of the Year 4 Geography topics. At Bromham Primary, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we continue to recognise that all our students have unique potentials.
The History curriculum at Bromham Primary is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. To enhance this, we have developed a curriculum based on research of Sweller’s Cognitive load theory and Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, which supports the theory behind the design of our curriculum. We block units to ensure we revisit and retrieve information throughout the years in order to move information taught from their working memory to their long-term memory, through designing ways to build schema to support their retention of key knowledge across the curriculum. The curriculum links theory from Rosenshine, 2012, principles of instruction. The teachers’ model and sequence new learning, to be able to return weekly, monthly and then yearly. They scaffold and guide learning, before checking for understanding. In history, we also use the power of dual coding through knowledge organisers and learning strips to support children’s retention and recall of information. We also focus on essential vocabulary and concepts. Vocabulary words are used to draw attention to Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary covered throughout the curriculum.
Teachers plan lessons for their class using the medium-term planning overviews and our progression of knowledge and skills document. The progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills/knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group.
When teaching history, the teachers should ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. History teaching focuses on enabling children to think critically. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement.
History provides excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of more able pupils through the investigations, analysing sources and writing extending pieces.
At Bromham Primary school, we provide a variety of opportunities for history learning inside and outside the classroom. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the classroom. At Bromham Primary, the children are to be provided with opportunities to experience history on educational visits. The children have explored the local area and local museums also provide an opportunity to further historical learning, as well as visits from external providers such as ‘History off the Page’ to enhance their experience.
Within history, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry-based learning opportunities. All of the lessons are designed around learning questions to begin their line of enquiry. The children are also provided with Knowledge Organisers and learning strips to enhance the embedding of knowledge, with the use of dual coding to help with retention and building up of schema in their knowledge. At the end of some units of work there is an end of unit essay, where they can answer a line of enquiry, and are encouraged to recall information learnt. We promote retrieval at the start of each lesson, which include some quiz questions from the end of unit quiz. This highlights key learning. All lessons have vital vocabulary, with a specific focus on T2 and T3 vocabulary being introduced throughout the topic. Core texts from Curriculum Visions and other texts are used to enhance knowledge and reading within the history curriculum. Throughout the year new information is introduced and revisited.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Retrieval introductions for each lesson as to build on prior knowledge.
- End of unit quizzes, which are also revisited later in the year through revisit sessions.
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary throughout their learning.
- End of unit essays to show they can recall their learning and apply it to answering an enquiry style question.
- Images of the children’s practical learning.
- Pupil book studies, where children are interviewed about their learning, and what they can recall. (Pupil Voice)
- Learning walks of the environment and photographs of sequences of learning are taken, this is then discussed during staff meetings, where sequences of learning are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
- Marking of written work in books.
- Assessment sheets at the end of every unit collected.