The Purpose of studying History:
At SSMJ we follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study for History. Our history topics consider the children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at SSMJ 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 SSMJ aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of the British Isles as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world including the nature of ancient civilisations;
- gain and use a wide range of historical terms and vocabulary;
- understand historical concepts such as: continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, ask historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives;
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used to make historical claims; and
- gain historical perspective by making connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
History is held in high regard at SSMJ. The teaching of History allows children to appreciate, understand and utilise the diverse culture, history and geography of our unique environment, which celebrates the schools’ own history and the context of the local area. The history curriculum at SSMJ makes full use of resources within the immediate and wider local area, including the castle, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality, making links, where possible, with our faith, which is at the heart of our curriculum.
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 Greece and Baghdad c. AD 900
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for with strong links between the history curriculum, English, art and ICT. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice such as regular visits to the castle and the local library. Planning is in line with the national curriculum. Teachers’ lesson design is informed by national agencies e.g. through the school’s membership of the History Association. Consideration is given to provision for our most able children as well as support for SEND children in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. Within our knowledge-rich approach, there is a strong emphasis on people and the community of our localbarea.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ 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. It is further supported by the Lancashire Document ‘EYFS: A Framework to Support Curriculum Planning’
Outcomes in history and English books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review the agreed successes at the end of every session and are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas, with support from their teachers. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and inspires curiosity about the past. Through this study, pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Our history curriculum also engages members of the community in children’s learning and provides positive role models from the community for children to learn from.