Our aim At St Bartholomew’s is for the pupils to acquire a secure knowledge and understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day and how it has influenced and been influenced by the history of the wider world. The pupils will also know and understand some aspects of world history through the study of three ancient civilisations: those of Greece, Egypt and the Maya.
Through stimulating, engaging and experiential learning opportunities within the carefully chosen topics the pupils will become knowledgeable about the different periods of history, the chronology of British history and the concept of history itself. Our curriculum will stimulate the pupils’ inquisitiveness to independently delve deeper into the topics they are studying outside of the designated lesson time and to leave our school with a positive and proactive attitude to the learning about history.
The pupils will understand and be confident in deploying methods of historical enquiry, identifying primary and secondary historical sources and judging their reliability considering concepts such as bias or propaganda.
The pupils will understand the concepts of continuity, change, similarity and difference in relation to the different periods of British history, being able then to draw comparisons and identify contrasts. This will deepen and enrich their understanding of the nation they live in and will contribute to their value as a knowledgeable, considerate and empathetic citizen. They will understand the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors of migration and how, throughout British history, migration has played, and continues to play, a significant role in the cultural, social, and religious development of our local area and of the entire nation.
History is taught in the first half of each term at St Bart’s from Year 1 to Year 6. Our knowledge organisers for each topic list the key knowledge and historical skills that the teachers will confidently deliver to their pupils. Our engaging topic front covers share these skills with the pupils who reflect on them at the close of each session, providing evidence themselves that these skills have been explored and exercised. Furthermore, the topic front covers have interactive assessment activities linked to the key skills and knowledge that the pupils complete independently at the end of the topic. This, combined with a knowledge quiz and an exciting, open-ended final assessment challenge in the final session, provides teachers with accurate and useful assessment evidence of the progress made by individual pupils and the class as a whole towards achieving the key skills and key knowledge presented in the knowledge organiser. Combined, these assessment opportunities give teachers and the subject leader valuable information as to the impact of the topic and how fit for purpose it is. This can inform future planning and a revision of the topic if necessary. Our skills progression document identifies the key skills that the pupils will explore and hopefully acquire each year, showing a clear, carefully-planned development of historical skills from Year 1 to Year 6.
Delivered by knowledgeable, confident and enthusiastic teachers and support staff, each learning opportunity aims to be informative, challenging, fun and thought-provoking. The pupils are given the opportunity to find things out for themselves, to enquire and answer questions, to confidently access, assess and select sources of information to further their understanding. Role-play and experiential learning opportunities are found across the curriculum, with teachers in character, themed-days, school trips, school museums, historical re-enactments and visitors from outside school enriching the topics and bringing the past to life. Because of this approach, history is seen as fun, challenging, immersive and exciting.
Meaningful links are made between the history topic and other curriculum areas broadening the pupils’ understanding of the historical period and enabling the historical knowledge and skills to be embedded further. Outside of the designated subject time, brief games, activities and challenges are spread out across the week, further embedding the knowledge and focusing the pupils minds on the topic being explored. The knowledge being stored in their long-term memory is the ultimate goal.
Many of the history topics in Upper Key Stage 2 focus on themes which cover multiple time periods. Therefore, they revisit time periods, themes and concepts from Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 deepening and enriching the understanding of those periods. Through these multi-time period topics, the pupils are given the opportunity to cement their understanding of chronology, change, contrasts, similarities and differences.
First and foremost we want the pupils to enjoy learning about history. They will be knowledgeable about the history of our local area and Britain and secure in the chronology of its periods. They will be familiar with a number of ancient civilisations and of the concept of empire. For the knowledge to enter the long-term memory, however, enjoyment alone is not sufficient. Our pupils will remember the facts taught them at St Bart’s thanks to a combination of a rigorous and critical approach to accessing sources of historical knowledge, opportunities to revisit periods of history previously explored and regular, fun opportunities to regurgitate and share the knowledge they have acquired.
We will equip our children with the skills to access historical knowledge, to sift through information and scrutinise it with the enthusiasm and caution of a historian. It we achieve this, then their lives will be enriched by a curiosity for this great subject and they will be ready and excited to extend their learning in Key Stage 3 and beyond.