St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
History Curriculum Statement
At St Patrick’s, our vision is that pupils leave our school with an enquiring mind: a mind which enables children to combine their knowledge of significant events and people from the past with analytical thinking, so that they can ask questions about the world they live in and how this will shape their futures.
We believe that learning about significant events and people in history are key to developing an enquiring and questioning mind. Children are exposed to a range of historical knowledge to encourage them to understand how the modern world has been shaped by a series of events, exploring what life was like for different people at different times. This aims to encourage children to understand, empathise and ask questions about the world they live in and the people we share it with.
History has always been held in high regard at St Patrick’s RC Primary School. The local area’s own rich history is a celebrated and inspiring feature of the school’s curriculum. The history curriculum at St Patrick’s draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at St Patrick’s is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at St Patrick’s aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past;
- Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement;
- Begin 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.
At St Patrick’s, the teaching of history begins in EYFS following a topic based approach. In KS1, History is taught in blocks each term to embed knowledge and skills. In KS2, history is predominantly taught in the Autumn and Summer terms, however our curriculum is carefully planned to highlight the connections between history and geography (which is predominantly taught in the Spring term). This ensures that teaching and learning of both areas of study are contextualised, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each area of study have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years). Recall tasks are used to check existing knowledge at the beginning of each history topic; allowing opportunities for key knowledge to be reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Romans to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Indus Valley.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for. The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. Visits to the local area and use of local artefacts, such as the use of maps and photographs of excavated local Roman villas, also support contextualised learning, as well as the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum. Our bespoke curriculum has been designed by the history and geography subject leads with the support of staff across the school to ensure that teaching equips pupils with the skills and knowledge required to become knowledgeable, analytical citizens. The history curriculum is designed to ensure appropriate diversity in the significant figures that children learn about. Teachers cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Outcomes in History/Geography and English books evidence a broad and balanced History curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning and children demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, in addition to being curious to know more about the past and their local area. Through this study, pupils ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Connections with our local area provide further relevant and contextual learning, engaging members of the community in children’s learning and providing positive role models from the community for children to learn from.