History

  • History Policy

    Aims and Objectives

    The aim of history teaching at West Park Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and develop an understanding about the lives of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this, they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. They learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in a modern multicultural `Britain and by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. We teach children to understand how these events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and by doing so, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.

     

    Our objectives in the teaching of History are:

    • To foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all History has to offer.
    • To enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time.
    • To develop a sense of chronology.
    • To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world.
    • 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.

     

    Teaching and learning style

    History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each Key Stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experience of events in the past. We recognize and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children to understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions about information they are given.

    We recognize that in all classes children possess a wide range of ability in History and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:

    • Setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.
    • Setting tasks of increasing difficulty with some children not completing all tasks.
    • Grouping children by ability and setting differentiated tasks for each ability group.
    • Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child.
    • Using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.

     

    History curriculum planning

    History is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. At West Park  Primary School we use a skills progression document and a cross curricular approach as the basis for our curriculum planning in History. We ensure that there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge through each theme and progression is planned so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

    We carry out curriculum planning in History in three phases: long term, medium term and short term. The long term plan maps the history topics/themes studied in each term during each Key Stage. Children, where possible, study historical topics in conjunction with other subjects through themed work and a skills based curriculum.  In Key Stage 2 we place an increasing emphasis on independent historical study. We teach the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the National Curriculum.

    Our medium term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. These plans define what we will teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. These plans define what we will teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. The subject leader is responsible for keeping and reviewing these plans. At West Park Primary school we have some mixed age classes therefore we carry out  the medium term planning on a two yearly rotation cycle. By doing so, we ensure that the children have a complete coverage of the National Curriculum but do not have to repeat topics/themes.

    Class teachers complete a plan for each history lesson taught. These list the specific learning objectives and expected outcomes and give details of how to teach the lessons. The class teacher keeps these individual plans but they are available to the subject leader for purposeful monitoring of the subjects and samples of planning can be collected.

     

    Early Years Foundation Stage

    We teach History in reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the Reception class  is part of the EYFS curriculum, we relate the historical side of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3 to 5. History makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s understanding of the world (UTW) through activities such as dressing up in historical costumes, looking at pictures of famous people in history or discovering the meaning of  vocabulary ( such as ‘new’ and ‘old’) in relation to their own lives.

     

    The contribution of History to teaching in other curriculum areas.

    Literacy

    History contributes significantly to the teaching of Literacy in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Children develop oral skills through discussing historical questions or by presenting their findings to the rest of the class. They develop their writing ability by composing reports and letters and through using writing frames.

    Mathematics

    The teaching of History contributes to children’s mathematical understanding in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through activities such as creating time lines and sequencing events in their own lives. Children also learn to interpret information presented in graphical or diagrammatic forms.

    Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

    History contributes significantly to the teaching of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education. Children develop self -confidence by having opportunities to explain their views on a number of social questions such as how society should respond to poverty and homelessness. They discover how to be active citizens in a democratic society by learning how laws are made and changed and they learn how to recognize and challenge stereotypes and to appreciate that racism is harmful aspect of society. They learn that society is made up of people from different cultures and start to develop respect and tolerance for others.

    ICT

    Information and communication technology enhances our teaching of History wherever appropriate in all key stages. The children use ICT in a variety of ways such as word processing, finding information on the Internet and presenting information via PowerPoint. History software and Apps  are used by teachers as a regular teaching tool.

     

    History and Inclusion 

    At West Park Primary School we teach History to all children whatever their ability and individual needs. This is in accordance with the school’s curriculum policy of providing a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our History teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents and those for whom English is a second language. We take all reasonable steps to achieve this. For further details see separate policies: Special Educational Needs; Disability Discrimination; Gifted and Talented Children; English as an Additional Language (EAL).

    When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors- classroom organization, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation- so that we can take some additional or different actions to enable the child to learn more effectively. Assessments made by teachers against the National Curriculum’s attainment targets and level descriptors allow us to consider each child’s attainment and progress in relation to the expected levels. This helps to ensure that out teaching is matched to the child’s needs.

    We enable all pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning about history. Where children are able to participate in activities outside the classroom such as during a visit to an archaeological site or museum, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for all pupils.

     

    Assessment for learning 

    Children demonstrate their ability in History in a variety of different ways. Younger children might, for example, act out a famous historical event, whilst older pupils may produce a PowerPoint presentation based on their investigations such as those of Ancient Egypt. Teachers will assess children’s work by making informal judgements during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and uses this information to plan for future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work.

    At the end of a terms themed work, teachers complete a “ Skills Curriculum Assessment ‘ sheet. This is used to provide accurate information to parents during consultations and to grade children at the end of a year. These are reported to parents and passed on to the next teacher. A copy of the ‘ Skills Curriculum Assessment’ is also passed to the subject leader for the purpose of monitoring standards in History.

     The History subject leader keeps samples of children’s work in a portfolio. These demonstrate what the expected levels of achievement in History are for each age group in the school.

    Resources.

    There are resources for all History topics/themes taught in the school, built up year upon year. We keep the resources in the resource room and in the Key Stage 1 store cupboard where there is a box of equipment and books for each unit of work.

    Monitoring and Review

    The coordination of the History curriculum is the responsibility of the subject leader who also:

    • Supports colleagues in their teaching and provides direction for improvement.
    • Gives the Headteacher and annual summary report in which the strengths and weaknesses in History are evaluated and areas for further improvement are indicated.
    • Makes use of specially allocated management time to review evidence of the children’s work and when required, to observe History lessons across the school.

    This policy will be reviewed in line with changes to school systems or statutory guidance.

    Written by : S. Salvin