At Yardley Wood, our aim is that our teaching of History will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We intend for it to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and to know more about the past. We aim to enable children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History we endeavour to teach children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
History lessons focus on developing historical skills and children working as historians. We intend for our children to have real life experiences and learn about history in an active and creative way. History is also linked to and explored through Writing, Geography, Art and other curriculum subjects. The planning of learning always begins with the skills and knowledge that needs to be taught and enrichment opportunities and opportunities to apply learning are carefully planned.
We use an enquiry-based approach to explore the past and learn about key periods. Within our classrooms, we follow these rich lines of enquiry by answering questions such as What happened to the civilisation of the Maya? Studying history in this way inspires children’s curiosity, encourages them to focus on disciplinary skills, such as continuity and change and similarity and difference, to ask critical questions and enables them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and that of the wider world.
At Yardley Wood, History is embedded in our cross-curricular approach to learning from EYFS to KS2. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the unit that will build on and develop the children’s knowledge and skills.
In EYFS, the children begin to develop an awareness of the past, beginning with their life journeys and special times of the year. They will begin to use simple words and phrases relating to the passing of time and make simple comparisons.
In Key Stage 1, our curriculum is planned to enable children to continue to expand their awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will start to know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. As they progress through the key stage, they will demonstrate a growing confidence and accuracy when using historical vocabulary, such as monarchy, explorer and artefact.
In Key Stage 2, children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. This chronology, or sequence of events, will be referred to throughout KS2 so that children become secure in their understanding of important historical events and eras. It will also enable them to begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms such as ancient and civilisation.
The impact of our History curriculum can clearly been seen in the children’s Topic books. Our rich History curriculum is also evident in the texts that we have selected for our children to read, displays in our classrooms, class assemblies where children have been able share their knowledge with their parents and the historical narratives our children recount.