The Intent of our History Curriculum
The subject of History at St Alban & St Stephen Catholic Primary School reflects the purposeful journey for the whole child, equipping our pupils with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in all aspects of life, both inside and outside of the classroom. It takes our children on a journey which provides opportunities for them to develop skills and knowledge – both academic and personal – which will ensure that success is achievable for all, regardless of circumstance.
Our history curriculum aims to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. History helps pupils to understand the process of change, the diversity of societies as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Our history curriculum will equip the children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgment.
We value the development of the whole child. Our children are not just learners – they are explorers, investigators, enthusiasts, performers, decision makers, contributors, creators, role models, members of society, and ultimately the future of our community and the world beyond it. In History we relish building the historians of the future! We ignite pupils’ curiosity and fascination about the past of our school, Britain and of the wider world, in turn deepening their sense of chronology.
We encourage our students to think, act and speak like those working in a historical field would: to research thoroughly, to weigh-up evidence, to understand chronology, to evaluate interpretations and develop arguments: skills which are invaluable to their future lives in education and beyond. Our carefully structured history curriculum provides opportunities additional to the NC endpoints, to build cultural capital and, through exposure in history lessons to life-skills such as British Values, tolerance and empathy, enable pupils to become well-rounded members of society in preparation for later life.
- An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and pro
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
- The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgements.
Through our in-depth and carefully sequenced lessons, pupils’ historical skills and concepts are transferable to whichever period of History is being studied and will equip pupils for both their future learning and future life.
These key historical skills and concepts are:
- Investigate and interpret the past
- Build an overview of world history
- Understand chronology
- Communicate historically
- Our personalised curriculum intent is at the forefront of our decisions made about teaching and learning in history.
- In EYFS, Development Matters objectives are used as endpoints.
- In KS1 and 2, National Curriculum objectives have been split and allocated to particular year groups.
- Teachers take the objective (e.g. the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain) and then pick specific topic focuses which reflect our school’s personalised intent. These focuses, along with the National Curriculum objectives, form the endpoints which teachers plan towards.
- History key skills have been personalised to suit our children and to help us achieve our curriculum intent. To do this, the history leadership team adapted two published schemes, and staff worked together to personalise these and add to them.
- Our history key skills are broadly categorised into the following areas, and each year, these build on each other: questioning, identifying contrasts and themes, chronological understanding, and using sources. Year-on-year, children are given the opportunity to revisit and develop these skills in different contexts.
- The development of the key skills act as a vehicle to allow our children to move towards the final destination – the endpoints defined by the National Curriculum and the teacher’s specific topic focuses.
- Key skills and knowledge are revised and used in real-life contexts to help children to make links, following our intent.
- Development of history-specific vocabulary is integrated into each topic, with clear progression.
- Our curriculum intent equally prioritises My Place in the World and Enrichment along with the National Curriculum objectives; and within history, these three areas work together to provide the best learning opportunities and development of cultural capital for our children.
- When planning, teachers structure and sequence their lessons with the endpoints in mind. Activities are carefully planned to enable pupils to develop their key skills and knowledge.
Behind the scenes
- Subject development teams take responsibility for a curriculum area. Their job is to:
- Raise the profile of the subject in the school.
- Know about the standards in their subject throughout the school in terms of pupil attainment and quality of teaching and learning.
- Use their knowledge of standards to recognise how the subject fits into the bigger picture of school improvement.
- Plan for and implement subject improvement.
- Moderate teachers’ judgements regarding attainment.
- Take and provide CPD opportunities.
- Pupils’ attainment in history is reported at the end of each year. Teachers use pupils’ work and their knowledge about each child to make an assessment.
- Teachers’ judgements regarding attainment are based on how well each child has achieved the key skills, along with the knowledge and understanding shown in books, and the teacher’s professional judgement.
In a history lesson, you will see:
- Activities designed to help children remember and reactivate previous learning as part of a sequence.
- Development of vocabulary.
- Aspects of our personalised curriculum intent.
- Development of cultural capital.
- Working from or towards enrichment activities (e.g. trips, visitors, special days, etc.)
- My Place in the World – development of the whole child.
- Development of subject-specific skills and acquisition of knowledge of a theme, working towards an endpoint.
Our pupils leave St Alban & St Stephen Catholic Primary School with the knowledge to think like a historian, act like a historian and speak like a historian, and they value the transference of these skills into their everyday life, in education and beyond.