Learning through History at Greenleas
At Greenleas Primary School every child matters. We want our children to be confident, motivated and independent learners who have respect for others. Our rich curriculum is the means of a high quality education, providing all with good opportunities for enjoyment and achievement.
It is our aim at Greenleas, through the teaching of History, to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We aim for the children to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach the children to investigate these past events and, by so doing, develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving. As children progress through the school, we provide them with a chronological understanding of the past.
At Greenleas, we aim to provide quality teaching and learning of history to promote:
- A curiosity and understanding of events, places and people in a variety of times and environments
- An understanding of life in the present by exploring the past.
- An inquisitiveness, enjoyment and appreciation about life in the past.
- Knowledge of significant events in British history and an appreciation of how societies and people have changed over time.
- A sense of chronology within which the children can organise their understanding of the past.
- A sense of how the past was different from the present and that people of other times and places may have had different values and attitudes from ours.
- An understanding of the nature of evidence by emphasising the process of enquiry and by developing the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source materials.
- An understanding of society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage.
- An understanding of historical concepts such as cause/consequence, continuity and change etc.
- Perspective between local and international history encompassing all areas of history such as political and religious.
The children undertake a broad and balanced programme that takes account of abilities, aptitudes and physical, emotional and intellectual development. Through history the children learn a range of skills, concepts, attitudes and methods of working.
History is taught in Reception as an integral part of the topic work through child-initiated and adult led activities. The children are given the opportunity to find out about past and present events in their own lives, and those of their families and other people they know through activities such as sequencing key events in their own lives, finding out about famous people in history and looking at how life is different to the past. In F2 history makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s understanding of the world focusing on similarities and differences in relation to people, places, objects, materials and living things. In F2 we discover the meaning of new and old in relation to the topics covered by looking at photographs or handling artefacts.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1, pupils learn about people’s lives and lifestyles. They find out about significant men, women, children and events from the recent and more distant past in Britain and the wider world. They listen, and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present.
Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
History Curriculum Planning
Topics have been split according to year groups and the units covered by each year group can be found on the long-term plans. Some elements of History are also taught through cross-curricular topics e.g. Literacy, ICT, Art, Geography and Drama. Programmes of Study for the subjects of the National Curriculum are used to ensure progression and continuity of Key Skills.
- Short-term planning sets out clear learning intentions, with steps of progression and challenge. Resources are deployed efficiently and effectively to personalise learning for each pupil.
- The History Subject Lead is responsible for overseeing, monitoring and evaluating the curriculum. Each key stage designs their own curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to use their subject expertise to enhance the curriculum.
- Opportunities are taken to enrich the curriculum through educational visits out of school; involvement of parents, visitors, artists, crafts people, actors, and musicians; the use of the school grounds, the locality and the wider environment.
- Opportunities are used within the curriculum to encourage the development of school values.
- A range of resources, including ICT, are used to underpin the curriculum.
- Homework is set where appropriate to link the curriculum with learning at home.
Teaching and Learning
The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in history lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in history and we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our history lessons. We believe in whole-class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We believe children learn best when:
- They have access to, and are able to handle artefacts
- They go on visits to museums and places of interest
- They have access to secondary sources such as books and photographs
- Visitors talk about personal experiences of the past
- They listen to and interact with stories from the past
- They undertake fieldwork by interviewing family and older friends about changes in their own and other people’s lives
- They use drama and dance to act out historical events
- They are shown, or use independently, resources from the internet and videos
- They are able to use non-fiction books for research
- They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask as well as answer historical questions.
We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children.
At Greenleas we want to ensure that children are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about history, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
Through our rich curriculum we hope that
- Children will become increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking, making informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.
- Children will become increasingly aware of how historical events have shaped the world that they currently live in.
- Children will develop enquiry skills to pursue their own interests within a topic and further questioning.
- Children will have encountered or participated in high-quality visits/visitors to further appreciate the impact of History.
- Children can retain prior-learning and explicitly make connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning.