‘A high quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.’
DFE, National Curriculum
History, at Fairfield Primary School, forms an integral part of the curriculum. We believe the study of history inspires children’s curiosity, encourages them to ask perceptive questions and enables them to think critically, analyse sources of evidence, and develop perspective and judgement. Hands-on experiences and visits enhance our history curriculum and support our children in developing their learning and the language to talk and write about the past.
We embed aspects of local history into many of our topics which helps our children gain a sense of their own identity, and a cultural understanding based on their rich historical heritage. The diversity of our topics also helps our children value other people’s cultures in modern multi-cultural Britain and the wider world and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today and in the future.
Fairfield History is taught in regular blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Where history is not the key driver within a half term, historical skills and knowledge are revisited through discrete retrieval sessions as well as through learning links with other subjects. Each blocked topic is planned to include specific key questions which are focused upon factual, conceptual and debatable content and the key knowledge and skills of each topic have been identified with consideration being given to ensure progression across the school. These units are further enriched by a range of cross-curricular work. At the beginning of each topic, children are given the opportunity to convey what they already know through 'Link-It' activities as well as developing questions as to what they would like to find out. This ensures that lessons are relevant and takes account of children’s different starting points.
The key concepts in history we plan a progression for are as follows:
- Chronological Understanding
- Knowledge and Interpretation
- Historical Enquiry
Progression in History will be assessed through listening to children’s responses and contributions to discussions and evaluating a range of written work.
Outcomes in topic books, tweets and working walls evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and the development of skills. Children record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.
By the time the children at Fairfield leave our school they should be motivated in their role as ‘historians’ and have developed:
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and in the history of their surroundings.
- An insight into the chronology of British history from Stone Age to modern times and of where the other historical periods studied fit in relation to this.
- Knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods studied.
- The ability to interpret historical evidence derived from a range of sources and use it to support their opinion.
- An understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- The ability to think critically about history, form and refine their own historical questions and communicate confidently in a variety of ways.
These skills and knowledge will enable Fairfield children to be ready for the curriculum at KS3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
'Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.'
DFE, National Curriculum
History Lead: Fiona Gambles and Jen Redhead