What is History?
The past influences all aspects of life. Learning about the past gives us a greater understanding of the world in which we live and an understanding of the actions of others. Each child has a personal history and each subject has a historical dimension. This is why the study of history enriches the entire curriculum.
History gives pupils a coherent, chronological narrative of the past and allows them to explore and enquire to find their own answers. It gives children opportunities to learn about the history of our local area, our islands of Britain and the wider world, which helps children develop an understanding of their place in the world. Within this area of study children develop enquiry skills, applicable to many areas of the curriculum and their later life. They gain knowledge of significant events and individuals, using abstract terms and concepts, to place them in their time. Children will also grow in their ability to use different sources to give them a wider understanding of a subject, including artefacts, text, video, the internet, books and visits.
Our aims in teaching History are:
- To help children develop an interest in their own past, the history of Britain and the wider world.
- To develop their skills of enquiry by allowing them to pose their own questions, argue, challenge prejudices and discover their own answers.
- To enable children to develop an empathy with, and an understanding of other people and other times.
- To ensure children experience a range of historical artefacts and provide opportunities for them to examine primary and secondary sources of information and debate their usefulness.
- To provide opportunities for children to research, both in groups and independently, and communicate their findings in a variety of ways.
- To develop their understanding of chronology from the earliest times to the present and the connections between different areas, religions, social groups, events, politics and economies.
How do we teach History?
Throughout our school we believe that History should be taught through an enquiry-led approach. We allow the children to develop their own ideas and develop their skills through carefully posed questions, and the sources we use. We begin with a question, which can be posed by the teacher or the children (as they progress through the school). We then use sources to discover more and hone our investigative skills. We then add in more information which causes our children to change their minds or will add to their answer they are developing. We will model and scaffold critical thinking and questioning to embed topics, showing that there is never only one answer and the importance of perspective. They will sort, organise, analyse and evaluate sources through their studies. Children will work individually and in groups and will record and present their work using oral, visual, written, models and using ICT. We also provide opportunities for trips to enhance our learning through fieldwork, viewing artefacts and exploring historical sites, to bring learning to life.
In the Foundation Stage children develop crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world and form the foundation for historical work in Key Stage 1. They will:
- Begin to understand the past by exploring their own personal history and that of people familiar to them.
- Show interest in the past by examining appropriate artefacts.
- Begin to differentiate between past and present.
In Key Stage 1, History continues the chronological understanding begun in the Foundation Stage. They will explore the lives and lifestyles of people in the recent and more distant past, including those from our local area. Children will:
- Make links across different periods in history through the study of recent and more distant times.
- Develop an understanding of historical terms and chronology and begin to apply them correctly, both orally and through written work.
- Begin to talk about some similarities and differences between people, events and times.
- Understand some changes within living memory.
- Carry out historical enquiries using a variety of sources of information and look at how and why the past is interpreted in different ways.
- Learn about significant individuals and events from our local area, Britain and the wider world.
In Key Stage 2, pupils continue their development of a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. Children will:
- Develop clear narratives across periods and events they have studied, including those from the more distant past, British history, local history and the wider world.
- Build their own answers to questions and pose their own.
- Discuss change, contrast, similarities, differences, trends and cause through depth and overview studies of History.
- Construct informed responses showing thoughtfulness in their selections of historical information.
- Use a range of sources to gain knowledge of the past.
- Use appropriate terms and explain their understanding of these.
- Begin to understand the complexity of the subject.
Click here to view the History Policy 2016
Click here for the guidance on the History National Curriculum from the DfE