History Curriculum Intent at Thingwall
'THE POWER TO QUESTION IS THE BASIS OF ALL HUMAN PROGRESS.'
Our intent is to nurture children’s curiosity and guide them to become progressively informed, independent thinkers in society.
Through the Early Years Framework (Understanding of the World: Past and Present aspect 2021) and the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 and 2 (2014), our broad curriculum centres around three main strands that are progressively developed through the age groups. These are:
- Chronological Understanding
- Skills of constructing and sequencing the past
- Knowledge and Interpretation
- Skills to identify differences and similarities, causes and effects, the significance and interpretation of the past.
- Historical Enquiry.
- Ability to plan and communicate a historical enquiry- ask and respond to questions; use different sources of evidence to support enquiry
Our history curriculum is rich in language (see our English VIPERS), skills and knowledge. It has a chronological sequence of learning that is relevant to children’s own life experiences first, before exploring events and people beyond living memory. It facilitates opportunities for children to explore, be curious and ask questions in order to develop a critical mind at a personal, local, national and international level; about cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales from ancient civilisations to the twentieth century.
Our curriculum provides the opportunity to explore different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events and think critically about the world in which we live. In FS2 and Key stage 1, history is explored through living memory, near living memory and differences and similarities from the past to the present day. The curriculum relates to children’s own lives, the home and stories from the past. In Key Stage 2, history is sequenced to give children a broader understanding of the chronological development of British history, as well as being able to make links to the wider world. The three main strands taught can be transferable over different periods of time as time periods are revisited and compared to ensure knowledge is secure.
History in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, History is delivered through the area of Understanding the World: Past and Present. The children work towards the Early Learning Goals as set out in the EYFS through continuous provision and adult-directed activities.
Children learn through experiences that introduce the concept of time and change. FS2 children are encouraged to verbalise their understanding and share observations, also record through drawing and writing. Sequences of events and ‘About Me’ topics enable children in FS2 to explore patterns and routines, we also take part in and celebrate events that occur regularly, including seasonal patterns, European celebrations and daily routines. During the Spring and Summer we observe life cycles and plants in the garden and describe and draw the changes over time.
Thingwall Primary School is proud of its local Viking heritage- Thingwall being known as the Norse assembly point on the Wirral Peninsula but history is also rooted in other local legacies. Where possible, children will know of these legacies and understand the influences of local living and past significant figures, places and events in Merseyside; legacies such as the Vikings (Tingvoll, Tynwald and Thingwall), Lord and Lady Ragnar, Joseph Paxton and John Laird in Birkenhead, Lord Leverhulme in Port Sunlight and Kitty Wilkinson in Liverpool. Other local influences will be studied such as Ken Dodd, The Beatles, Cammell Laird Ship building, the River Mersey, Birkenhead Priory, Speke Hall, The British Legion. When and wherever possible, fieldtrips and Living History groups will be incorporated into planning to enhance the awe and wonder of history.
In collaboration with our English Curriculum, our school VIPERS acronym is embedded in our lessons to improve reading and the understanding of history. Teaching in history will promote:
VOCABUALRY– children will gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’, ‘peasantry’, ‘assembly ground’, ‘settlement’, legacy;
INFER-children will read different sources to infer meaning, detect bias, viewpoints, analyse trends;
EXPLAIN-children will explain continuity and change, cause and effect, similarity and difference, make comparisons and draw contrasts, answer questions by explaining their thinking, write or describe their own accounts in history;
RETRIEVE-children will use different methods of historical enquiry to retrieve evidence and knowledge of the past;
SEQUENCE/SUMMARISE- children will sequence events in chronological order; summarise how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
To ensure ‘sticky knowledge’ is embedded, all classrooms will display a timeline of their period in time and will visit the History corridor wall time line. At the beginning of each academic year, children will refresh their memories and test their knowledge by building time line strips, sequencing events in time. They will use their own timelines at the front of History books or in FS2 Journals to refer to when learning about a time period. FS2 will gradually build a time line through the year as events and people are discussed starting with themselves. Lessons will start with a mini quiz or three fun facts starter to recap on present period taught or a recap of another year taught. Knowledge Maps are used for this purpose.
Historical skills will be assessed using Thingwall’s Assessment Focus for the Progression of Skills taken from the National Curriculum Aims, Weaving Skills and Knowledge Focus document at the end of a unit. Target Tracker statements will be marked against biannually to judge overall assessment in different groups of children.
Sequence of learning is seen on the school’s History Long Term Overview which summarises teacher’s own medium term planning. At the beginning and end of each topic Years 2-6 will use the KWL or KWHL format to start lines of historical enquiry: What I know already/What I want to find out/ How will I find out / What have I learned.