Wychwood Primary School - History Vision Statement
At Wychwood, our history curriculum will allow children to gain a knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We strive to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and provide opportunities within our lessons for children to ask questions, think critically, analyse sources and understand that history can sometimes be contested. The units taught enable pupils to construct arguments and support them to become analytical thinkers who can question human motivation and society with skill and confidence.
Our Curriculum is sequenced so that children’s historical knowledge, understanding and skills build over time. We have selected and designed our units of teaching carefully so that our curriculum includes diverse narratives and voices. Within our classrooms, we follow rich and ambitious lines of enquiry by answering questions such as ‘how have the Ancient Greeks influenced our lives?’. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to recognise the role it plays in preparing our children for the wider world. This includes understanding what makes a good and responsible citizen, understanding change, the diversity of societies and considering challenging times in the past and the changes this brought about.
In our history curriculum, we have planned for key concepts that run through our units of learning. These are invasion, settlement, law, trade, civilisation, democracy, monarchy and religion. By carefully mapping these concepts across the units and revisiting them in different sequences of learning, we ensure children are able to make links and connections and gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts. Key vocabulary is also planned for and throughout each unit of work, teachers ensure that children acquire and use subject specific language.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of History through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. This aspect is about how children find out about the past and present in their own lives as well as their family. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of change over time and are given opportunities to differentiate between past and present by observing routines throughout the day, growing plants, observing the passing of seasons and time and looking at photographs of their life and of others. We also embed the teaching of history through using picture books which tell stories of historical figures such as Amelia Earhart, Mae Jemison, Rosa Parks and Louis Bleriot. Through using these texts, children are taught how to compare their own lives to people of the past and with support can begin to understand the impact that significant people of the past had on our own lives. History is interwoven through day to day teaching such as nursery rhymes where children unpick the words used in certain rhymes and compare to language used today.
Planning and books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Learning walks, pupil interviews and book looks show that children are critical and analytical thinkers and can make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. They also show that children are able to retain prior learning and make connections between key concepts learnt. Alongside the knowledge they have acquired, they are also able to discuss how historians use evidence to support explanations and can support or challenge other views using evidence derived from a range of sources.