‘Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those bits of good put together that overwhelm the world’ - Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Our curriculum promotes social mobility;
we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly.”
History at St. George's
Curriculum Intention for History
‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.’ Theodore Roosevelt.
At St. George’s, we believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to want to know more about the past and to think and act as historians. By linking learning to a range of topics, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. Through the teaching of History, we aim to prepare each child for their next phase of education whilst at the same time giving all students a broad and balanced view of the History of Britain and other societies and periods. Through their history learning journey, students will develop a well-rounded knowledge of the past and its events, with the intention to improve every child’s cultural capital, understanding of the world around them and their own heritage. We pride ourselves in our creative learning environments and classroom displays. The history curriculum at St. George’s makes full use of resources within the immediate and wider local area enables children to develop a deeper understanding of the history of their locality. History at St. George’s aims to be ambitious and motivating; ambitious in our coverage of History and thorough teaching of historical skills and motivating through engaging activities, visits and visitors that give all children an opportunity to question the past and learn from it. The curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.
In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at St. George’s aims to ensure that all pupils:
- ‘Reach for the Stars’ and ignite their curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world, linking this to their understanding of how the past influences the present,
- Have a ‘healthy body, healthy mind’, by becoming a critical thinker through historic enquiry, research and exploration of historical information; using this to ask perceptive questions and actively explore the world around them to see how the past has influence the world we live in now,
- Explore ‘The World Around Us’ by developing a sense of identity and chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identify and the challenges of their time.
Curriculum Implementation for History
As a school, we maintain strong links to the National Curriculum guidelines to ensure all aspects, knowledge and skills of History are being taught across all year groups. History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. 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 between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Ancient Greece and the Mayans.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for, with strong links between the history curriculum and English lessons enabling further contextual learning. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum. Consideration is given to how children can be challenged in their learning as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Where appropriate we use historical artefacts, visitors, workshops and visits to excite and intrigue our children to find out more about events and people from the past. We also use the classroom environment and displays to share learning and key information with children, this includes the use of continuous provision across the school from EYFS to year 6. They may also revisit previously taught topic knowledge in a short ‘daily dashboard’ session, ensuring that the knowledge is retained in the long-term memory. We aim to give our children as much understanding as possible about what is was like to be around at a particular period in history by having practical and experiential lessons where possible. We try to ensure that there is a strong emphasis on people and community of our local area wherever possible – looking at historical events that Gainsborough has played a part in.
Through our history teaching, we aim to develop:
- An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past;
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences;
- The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources;
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry;
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning;
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics;
- A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The EYFS follows the ‘Development Matters’ (2021) guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. The children will learn new skills, knowledge and attitudes in the seven areas of the EYFS Framework. Their learning and development within these seven areas will be nurtured and challenged in the following
- Continuous provision that stimulates investigation and questioning through an enabling environment,
- Child-initiated play where children can select resources for their own learning,
- Adult modelling provides a framework for role-play and activities the children can then recreate and develop independently,
- Adult led activities which will focus on direct teaching and guided learning.
Curriculum Impact for History
Our History Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. Outcomes in topic books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Reflecting on standards achieved against the planned outcomes (teacher reflections and ‘deep dive’ sessions);
- Children retaining knowledge that is pertinent to History (pupil interviews and session observations);
- Children’s enjoyment of History lessons and keenness to find out more about the past (pupil interviews);
- Evidence of work showing a range of topics covered, cross curriculum links and differentiated work (‘deep dive’ sessions);
- High standards in History that match standards in other subjects such as English and Maths (‘deep dive’ sessions and book scrutiny);
- SLT are kept informed through feedback from moderations, subject reports and annual subject action plans.
All of these aspects of monitoring are designed to give the subject leader a clear picture of the history curriculum within school.
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps the children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and are curious to know more about the past. Through this study pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
History curriculum Coordinator: Mrs J Burrows (TA)
History curriculum Governor: Mr. M Childs