Rationale for the teaching of History
At St Anne’s Primary School, we provide a history education, which nurtures investigation, enquiry and curiosity. Through the teaching of history in our school, our children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, it inspires our children's curiosity to know more about the past. In history lessons children are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps our children to gain an understanding of the past in this country and the world around them that has shaped the way they live today. Through this, the children develop a good sense of chronology and where events in the past fit into the greater timeline.
Our ultimate goal is for children to leave St Anne’s with a broad, in-depth and chronological understanding of world history, particularly that of Britain. Through this learning, they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage and learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. By considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. In our school, history makes a significant contribution to citizenship education by teaching about how Britain developed as a democratic society. Children learn how events in the past have influenced our lives today. By investigating these past events, pupils develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving.
How we teach and learn History at St Anne’s
History lessons are taught weekly or as a block unit, linked to the term’s Creative Curriculum topic. Our History lessons aim to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage; to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways.
We use the National Curriculum as the basis for our planning in history with specific objectives. History plans are integrated within our ‘Creative Curriculum’ termly themes, with the specific objectives clearly identified on medium and short-term plans. There are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit with planned progression so that the children are developing their skills as they move up through the school.
We teach History in Early Years Foundation Stage as an integral part of the Creative Curriculum carried out during the year. We relate the historical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning. History makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’. Activities are based around past and present events in their own lives and others including exploration of familiar and new customs and traditions.
History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. Children start the term with ‘Big Bang’ days, these are linked to the Creative Curriculum theme for the term. These days are designed to fully engage the children in their forthcoming learning and promote a sense of curiosity and wonder.
We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. Across the school we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and actively encourage questioning to extend their learning, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given.
Some activities might include;
We assess children’s work in history by making informal judgements as we observe them during each history lesson, through asking open-ended questions-orally and in written tasks. The History lead sets an assessment task for each year group which is designed to assess children’s knowledge and understanding and ensure progression throughout the school.
How we celebrate our History learning
Work is celebrated and valued around the school in a variety of ways. Writing, photos and artwork is often displayed and celebrated for the wider school community. Throughout the year, at St. Anne’s, we also hold a variety of exhibitions to showcase our learning in History. Parents, carers and members of the wider community are invited into school to share and acknowledge the children’s learning journey with them.
Holiday homework projects often incorporate a historical theme and allow children to work alongside their siblings, extending and personalising their learning at home. This work is celebrated; shared with their peers, displayed within the school and often forms a focus for our assemblies.