Our History curriculum is designed to inspire children to have a love of the subject. We aim to provide a stimulating curriculum where children learn about the rich history of our school site and local area. The curriculum is also designed to help children understand how Britain has changed throughout the past and how it has been influenced by the diversity of people, ideas and beliefs. We want our children to be able to describe changes and causes of these in their own words. Similarly, we want our children to understand the impact of past great civilisations from around the world on us today and enable them to understand and appreciate their own heritage and the heritage of others in the community. Children at St Gabriel’s are taught to think like a historian including understanding the importance of a range of sources, organising relevant information coherently and understanding chronology within and across periods of time in history.
History is taught discretely across a series of weekly lessons and covers all objectives set out in the National Curriculum. Each lesson starts with an enquiry question, which the children will spend time trying to answer. Children learn about history from a range of primary and secondary sources including artefacts, diary accounts, artwork, audio and visual resources, books and magazines.
Our children love to learn facts and we understand the importance of children building a wider understanding of history through knowing key dates, people and events. At St Gabriel’s, key blocks of knowledge have been identified as being imperative to building an understanding of history as well as promoting the wider values of the school. These ‘core knowledge’ blocks are centred on communication; diversity and beliefs. The ‘core knowledge’ blocks are outlined in each unit of work to ensure our children understand change over time. This knowledge is built upon as the children progress through the school. Research shows the importance of revisiting previous learning in order to build long-term understanding which is why children complete ‘roll-over’ quizzes throughout the year to enable them to recall key information.
Children will learn through a variety of engaging activities including recreating history through drama; writing from the perspective of a historical figure; writing information reports; sequencing significant events on timelines; comparing and analysing sources and reflecting on their reliability; represent understanding through art; visiting historical sites; learning from historical expert visitors; conducting their own research.
Assessment for learning strategies are employed to enable teachers to identify the strength of understanding of the children. Teachers use this information to make adaptations to their planning to meet the needs of the children. Teachers may also change the focus of learning during a lesson to ensure children are supported and challenged. Each term, teachers use evidence of learning in children’s books and their responses in ‘roll-over’ quizzes to ascertain children’s progress within and across units of work. Verbal feedback and written feedback is used to support children in understanding more about history. School leaders monitor pupil’s books termly and hold individual termly meetings with all teachers to ensure they are supported to provide a high-quality history curriculum. In addition, children’s views and understanding are ascertained through pupil interviews/surveys.