History at St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School
History Lead: Miss Bates
At St Anne’s, we love History and we aim for all children to love History too! We aim for children to develop curiosity and fascination about people and events from the past. We aim to make all children aware of the actions of important people in History and enable children to know about significant events in British and World history. Following from this, we want children to identify and appreciate how certain people and events changed History. We teach children chronology of events in History to create well-rounded children who have a solid knowledge of historical developments in Britain and the wider world. Importantly, we ensure our History topics are diverse and inclusive of a wide variety of people to reflect the modern and multicultural society we live in today. At St Anne’s, we are proud to be based in Chertsey and we aim for children to feel this too as we teach them about local History through utilising the knowledge and resources from Chertsey Museum. Finally, by allowing children to enjoy learning the importance of History through different opportunities, we believe they will become enthused learners in History.
In EYFS, children learn about History through teaching of, “Understanding the World”, one of the four specific areas of learning in the EYFS framework. Children learn the words, “past” and “present”, thinking about their life and how they have grown up and what have they learnt since they were born. Children learn the word “past” and are asked about how things were different for people who were born a long time ago compared to how things are now.
KS1 and KS2
At St Anne’s, History is taught to Year 1- Year 6 once a week, every alternate half term. We believe blocking lessons rather than teaching once a fortnight allows children to be fully emersed in their interest for their topic.
- Years 1-6 has a progression of skills document which means Historical enquiry skills are built on each year.
- In KS1, children are introduced to timelines and the scale of how long ago an event took place or when someone was alive. Also, they are introduced to the word source and how Historians use these to construct a view of the past. Children are exposed to a wide range of primary and secondary sources and they make inferences about what those sources tell us about the past.
- KS2 make chronological links between their current History topic and what else was happening in Britain and the wider world at that time. This is achieved by children having a timeline stuck in the front of their History books which maps out eras being studied between Years 3-6. Also in KS2, children deepen their learning of sources by analysing the extent to which sources are reliable or unreliable.
- For each History topic, a knowledge organiser is stuck into books which children can retrieve key vocabulary, dates and concepts from.
- Each History topic has a “Big Question” which is referenced at the beginning and end of every lesson. This enhances children’s enquiry skills knowing that each History topic has an ongoing enquiry to answer.
- We celebrate Black History Month by covering the following the current themes: Success and Achievement, Immigration and Cultures and Discrimination and Perseverance. We also have a drama workshop for each class on Black History.
- We keep a “Diversity” document to ensure our history topics are sufficiently diverse and inclusive.
- Children self-assess their prior knowledge of a new History topic before the lessons start. This is then used by teachers to inform planning and scaffolding within future lessons.
- Children also self-assess at the end of the topic to recognise and celebrate what they have learnt. Misconceptions are also picked up and addressed before the end of the final History lesson for that topic.
- Teachers use Assessment for Learning at multiple points in every History lesson to check for and address misconceptions and to deliver lessons which appropriately support and challenge pupils in moving their learning forward most effectively.
- Our staff have access to resources and planning from the Historical Association and Chertsey Museum, to aid them in planning well-structured lessons.
- Children are emersed in History through theme days in every year group where the whole day is devoted to partaking in enriching activities (including art activities and drama workshops) on their current topic. E.g. Nurturing Nurses Day, Great Fire of London Day and Space Day.
- We plan education school trips and visitors to elicit a love of learning for History and to expose children to sources, information and expert people about their history topic.
- We plot student attainment for History on Target Tracker so the data informs future teaching.
- Medium term planning for all units will cover key historical concepts: Chronological understanding, Historical knowledge, Historical interpretation, Historical enquiry and organisation and communication.
- Scaffolding is offered in History lessons in the form of word banks, sentence starters and more to support the learning of children with EAL, SEND or other children who benefit from this support.
- We have a Historical Vocabulary Progression that covers EYFS to Year 6 to ensure we explicitly teach Historical vocabulary which aids understanding of abstract words such as, “Parliament”, “empire” and “government”. This helps all children, especially those with SEND and EAL.
- We have a big, outside timeline of world History stuck to the front of the school which is frequently visited over the course of the year to aid children in their chronology.
Through speaking to St Anne’s children, it is clear that our curriculum design means children feel confident and love learning about History, feeling suitably challenged. Looking in books and at planning, work shows cross-curricular links and a wide range of topics being covered. St Anne’s aims for all children to meet the age-related expectations for History. Also, there are opportunities for pupils to be working at greater depth through completing challenge questions.