History at Smallwood


Why you teach it - your purpose of study

The national curriculum for history intends to ensure that all pupils:


·         Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.

·         Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.

·         Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry.’

·         Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.

·         Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed History – key stages 1 and 2.

·         Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.




What you teach - your programme(s) of study

At Smallwood we view history as a vital element of our school curriculum and along with Geography, it serves as a driver for our half-termly topics.


We intend to inspire a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the history of Britain as well as that of the wider world. We want all children to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to ask perceptive questions; to interpret, weigh and sift evidence; to understand chronology and to recall, select and organise historical information in relation to significant events and individuals.


It is also important to us that our children understand the local history of Smallwood and the surrounding area, thus our history programme of study has studies of the local area and beyond planned in for each year group.



How you teach it - your delivery of the above


Our history curriculum at Smallwood has been designed to be both knowledge-rich and coherently sequenced. It focuses on substantive knowledge of historical events, dates and people in the past, as well as knowledge of substantive concepts in history (such as ‘empire’ and ‘monarchy’) and disciplinary historical concepts (such as evidence, cause and effect, significance and interpretation). Each unit has key enquiry questions which link to our ‘Golden Threads’ of Society & Culture, Leadership, Legacy, Invasion & Settlement, Religion & Beliefs, Economy and Revolution & Innovation.


In KS1 the focus is on children developing an awareness of the past, knowing where the people and events they study fit in within a chronological framework and identifying similarities and differences of ways of life in different periods and comparing it to their own lives today. In terms of content, our children are exposed to some substantive knowledge and concepts that they will then study in more depth in KS2.  


In KS2 our children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. The ‘Golden Threads’ and key enquiry questions are designed to allow children to establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.  A larger focus is placed on our children addressing and devising historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance, and on the importance and validity of interpretations and sources.

Knowledge Organisers are also used to highlight key vocabulary and concepts for each topic studied.

As well as being coherently sequenced, our history programme of study is also planned in a way that:

·         Supports our children to develop cultural capital, diversity and global citizenship. It is important to us at Smallwood that our children ‘shine’ as citizens and that they are able to make a positive contribution to the world in which they live;

·         Offers purposeful opportunities and experiences, including out of classroom learning environments;

·         It has a local, national and international dimension;

·         Is progressive in knowledge and skills.


So what - your evaluations of the above


At Smallwood there will be a consistent approach to the teaching of history. Children will make good or better progress from their starting points and by the end of KS2, will be able to know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world, gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms, understand historical concepts such as continuity and change and understand the methods of historical enquiry.

This will be measured through a variety of methods such as ongoing summative assessment, questioning, pre and post assessments, quizzes based on the content of knowledge organisers, evidence in books and pupil voice.



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