“Engaging children and young people in investigating questions about people and events in the past helps them to better understand their lives today, the contested nature of knowledge and prepares them for the future as more informed citizens.”- Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum 2009 Final Report.
At Corfield C of E Infant school we provide an engaging, relevant, exciting and challenging History curriculum which inspires curiosity and is appropriate for preparing our pupils for an adult life in today’s modern world.
We believe that our History curriculum:
- Helps our 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 the challenges of their time;
- Develops skills of critical thinking which means making reasoned judgements that are logical and well thought out.
- Supports our pupils to challenge and question through asking perceptive questions, weighing evidence, sifting arguments and developing perspective and judgement;
- Builds a sense of identity and belonging on a personal, cultural, national and global level as learners come to appreciate the diversity of human experience and consequently understand more about themselves and as members of society;
- Enables our pupils to understand core concepts and most notably cause and consequence, similarity and difference, continuity and change, change and progress/regression, significance, evidence, chronology, empathy, context, diversity, perspective, interconnectivity and validity which have broad relevance and significance in the modern world.
An investigative approach to History, involving children’s active participation in enquiry, use of artefacts, visitors to school as well as visits to museums and other places of historical interest are actively promoted in order to bring the History curriculum to life. Children are given opportunities to learn about the past from a range of historical sources and a variety of reference books, and materials which are accessible through the use of technology. At Corfield C of E Infant School, History is taught through the Cornerstones Curriculum approach, with termly themes taught throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Class teachers identify the key knowledge and skills of each theme and lessons are planned using the (DfE 2014) National Curriculum programmes. Planned opportunities are given to each year group for children to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to investigate and find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Class teachers consider and plan for how greater depth will be taught and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how our pupils will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
Assessments are based on more than the learning activity or session and take into account the historical knowledge and skills which the child has acquired over a period of time. On these occasions teachers draw upon the intelligence gained from the formative assessment of pupils, which is integral to each enquiry, to make a summative judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved the relevant skills in; chronological understanding, range and depth of historical knowledge, interpretations of history and historical enquiry.
The primary objective of applying key literacy and numeracy conventions to History is to enable our pupils to achieve more and better in History – i.e. to develop as young historians. To this end we ensure that high standards of literacy and numeracy are applied to History, result in equally and appropriately high standards of historical subject attainment.
Impact outcomes in theme books/ topic folders, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. 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 enables our pupils to be curious, to know more about the past. Our pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
Our pupils experience contextual learning by engaging with members of their local community and families. This enhances our pupil’s learning, providing positive role models from the community for our children to learn from. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods;
- Learning walks and professional dialogue with teachers.
- Accessing children’s understanding of theme linked vocabulary before and after the ‘knowledge and skills’ have been taught.
- Summative assessment based on pupil discussion about their learning/termly data input
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning (class and subject portfolio and Class Pages).
- Interviewing pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
- Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books and class portfolios are scrutinised and there is an opportunity for dialogue between teachers to discuss the learning and teaching in their class.