At Broad Square Primary School our school values are evident in all subjects, we champion diversity and aim to nurture responsible citizens and tomorrow’s leaders. We are passionate about building a rich and varied vocabulary, enriching children’s understanding through meaningful experiences and enabling them to share their ideas, in written form, through oracy, digitally and creatively. A mastery of reading, writing and maths are preconditions of success across the curriculum, as such these skills are interwoven throughout our History teaching and learning.
At Broad Square, we are all historians! Our intent is to spark a life-long love of History: enriching our children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the past to enable them to learn its lessons and become the historians of the future! Building curiosity about our local heritage and past events and people from the UK and beyond that have shaped our lives today. We enrich our children’s experience of History through a carefully planned range of visits and visitors, building aspirations for future History studies through visits from leading archaeologists from different universities. We make meaningful links to other curriculum areas: for example, using our Geography knowledge to understand History as time and place; or the Arts with the examination of creative outputs from communities around the world. Through our teaching of History, we aim to equip children with the tools and the confidence to ask perceptive questions, reflect critically, change viewpoints and develop their own judgements based on historical evidence.
At Broad Square, we utilise the ‘Opening Worlds’ programme, which is underpinned by a bespoke curriculum in EYFS and Key Stage One. Diversity and multi-culturalism are championed through studies of a range of significant people, communities and civilisations, highlighting contributions to national and international life and challenging stereotypes. Our planning of a broad and balanced curriculum encompasses British values throughout and enables our budding historians to develop the core strands of History: a sense of chronology, historical understanding, historical enquiry, historical interpretations, and organisation and communication.
In EYFS, children encounter a range of ideas about the past, including how they were different in the past, building shared memories around their learning enables them to build a sense of chronology. During Key Stage 1, children build on this knowledge by looking at how life was different for their parents and grandparents, before looking back further in time. A key theme for Year 2 is famous women, these women have been selected for their outstanding contribution to our local, national and international History. In Key Stage 2 children are immersed in texts which explore key knowledge and concepts in depth, the texts support the children to build a narrative ark to see how new learning fits in with their prior knowledge in order to understand change in context.
History at Broad Square is designed, over time, to maximise the likelihood that children will remember and connect the steps that they have been taught. Each unit starts with children investigating the ‘when and where’ of the topic, contextualising their understanding and building ‘the big picture’. Handling real artefacts helps to bring the subject alive for children, as does visiting key sites and questioning experts – enrichment that is built in across the school.
Key knowledge and vocabulary have been identified for each topic, along with key skills, enabling clear progression across each year and across the school. Questioning and learning reviews are planned carefully to ensure children revisit key knowledge and concepts at regular intervals. By the end of Year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history, from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections with different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans.
The impact of our History curriculum is measured through a range of strategies:
- Ongoing teacher assessments
- Lesson observations
- Monitoring of books
- Learning walks
- Pupil voice
Children show their growing knowledge, skills and understanding over the course of each unit, culminating in a summative assessment to show a snapshot of their understanding. Pupils are given the opportunity to reflect on what they have learnt, what they have enjoyed and the range of skills that they have developed. Younger children respond to a picture stimulus, with older children responding to a synoptic task and answering multiple choice questions. This enables children to showcase their learning, drawing on a range of skills and knowledge to communicate their ideas as well as showing clear progression across each year and across the school.
The ultimate impact and measure of our History curriculum is the readiness for children to learn History at KS3 and beyond. Outcomes in History books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about History, therefore encouraging them to delve deeper into their own heritage, that of others and grow into interested, responsible citizens.