Our curriculum is ambitious, diverse and research driven
At Hunsbury Park Primary we use the objectives defined in the National Curriculum to ensure progression, sequencing and clear coverage. We have created our own ambitious History curriculum to inspire and enthuse our diverse children, instilling a love of history.
At Hunsbury Park Primary, we view History as a way to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past. History presents children with the opportunities to:
- develop fundamental skills of enquiry and questioning
- become open minded ‘historical detectives’
- explore the past in an exciting and engaging way.
Through our teaching of history at Hunsbury Park Primary School we aim to ensure that 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;
- 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.
Our personalised school-designed units, detailed in our History Overviews, aim to bring history to life, in order to help pupils to understand the process of change and the diversity of societies, as well as understanding their own identity and the challenges of their time. They are designed to enable the children to develop their knowledge of the people and events that have shaped the past, and therefore give them a better understanding of the present. Through History, children learn to make comparisons and links between the past and modern times and discover how and why things have changed.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is sequentially planned throughout the whole school.
In the Foundation Stage the main aim is to develop a sense of chronology and an understanding of key vocabulary linked to the passing of time. In line with EYFS curriculum, the children are encouraged to talk about themselves and how they have changed over time and look at significant people in History. They share stories, handle artefacts and look at pictures to identify similarities and differences and begin to talk about changes. They are encouraged to ask older people, particularly their families, about the past and are introduced to other cultures. Enquiry is a key skill in history and we approach the planning of history in this way.
In Phase 1, 2 and 3 history, we follow the breadth of the programmes of study of the National Curriculum for history and use this to create our own personalised curriculum that focuses on the children’s locality as the foundation of their Historical exploration. The aim is for children to build knowledge, understand the big ideas and processes of history, and gain an increasingly mature and informed historical perspective on their world. The ‘Key Concepts’ of 'investigate and interpret the past', 'building an overview of world history' and 'understanding chronology' are repeated many times and focused on through lenses that encourage our children to become ‘Historians’ looking at artefacts, travel and exploration, society, democracy and the main events of the past. This enables children to reinforce and build upon prior learning, making connections, and developing subject specific language. This provides the vertical accumulation of knowledge and skills and enables children to build schemas around the lenses, and ultimately key concepts, driven by research around helping children to learn and remember more.
Our Key Concepts that drive our approach to history are:
- Investigate and Interpret the Past – I am a historian because I use sources of evidence to deduce information about the past.
- Build an Overview of World History – I am a historian because I describe and compare features of the past across the world and within my local area.
- Understand Chronology – I am a historian because I understand how the world has changed over time and when events happened in relation to one another.
Our Lenses for each Key Concept are:
- Investigate and Interpret the Past
- Build an Overview of World History
- Society (encompassing beliefs, cultures and pastimes, food and farming, settlements, location)
- Travel and Exploration
- Understand Chronology
- Main Events
To further support the children’s learning, they have a knowledge organiser in their books and on display with key learning facts, timelines and vocabulary. They also take one home so they can share their learning with their families and further consolidate it.
Through rigorous monitoring and careful planning, children enjoy history lessons and look forward to finding out more about the past by becoming Historians. They learn research skills that they use independently to further their own enjoyment and fascination about the topic or subject they are studying. The evidence of work shows a range of topics covered and meaningful cross-curricular links where appropriate. The Standards in history are high and match standards in other subjects such as English. Regularly, Teacher judgements are discussed and moderated.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Formative assessing of children’s understanding of topic (including vocabulary) before, during and after a unit is taught through a range of methods including mind maps, quizzes and a range of retrieval tasks e.g. ‘brain dumps’.
- Summative assessment through on-going learning
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice) with their books
- Annual reporting to parents of standards across the curriculum
- Marking of written work in books.
SEND AND DISADVANTAGED PUPILS
Our History curriculum caters for the different groups within our school. The teaching and learning supports the children’s individualised needs appropriate differentiation supports all learners (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) with concrete, pictorial and abstract opportunities as well as opportunities for mastery.
We achieve this by creating opportunities for children by:
- Using Visual supports
- Scribing work
- Open-ended investigations
- Outside learning
- Hands-on practical applications and tasks
- Challenge in activities
- Sensory experiences
- Mastery approach
- High staff ratios
- Visits and visitors – with experiential and hands-on sessions
- I-pad and technology to assist and explore.
How does History Promote British Values?
At Hunsbury Park Primary School, British values, including those of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are embedded in our History curriculum. Children explore issues such as democracy in their historical context and relate them to the modern day through studying periods such as Ancient Greece. This enables them to understand how, over time, changes happened and allows them to evaluate their impact. By looking at the achievements of famous British people in all key stages, children develop an awareness of how they have influenced and shaped the country in which we live and the impact some (e.g. Sir Walter Tull) have impacted our locality. Teaching children to respect and value diversity is encouraged in the day to day teaching and learning through showing respect for different viewpoints and ideas as well as in the ability to work effectively together both individually and in groups.