The history curriculum at St Peter's aims to give a solid foundation and broad overview of some of the most important periods in local, British and world history. We aim for it to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past to develop their understanding of key events. Children will ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History we endeavour to teach pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, including those of the present, the process of change, the diversity of societies and beliefs, whilst celebrating these differences.
We teach our pupils to ‘think like a historian’ by examining artefacts and sources from the time and encouraging them to think critically about what we might be able to learn from the evidence. Woven through our planning is a recognition of diversity - we teach the pupils that people from all backgrounds, ethnicities and religions have had an impact on the world and we hope that children see themselves in our curriculum.
How are History lessons delivered?
History (or Geography) is taught each week and cross-curricular links made to other subjects where appropriate. Our history curriculum begins in the EYFS with Understanding the world. The pupils develop their understanding of ‘past’ and ‘present’ through learning about themselves, building up their personal experiences, understanding the diverse world and widening their vocabulary through inspiring activities. Building on this, in Year 1 our curriculum takes the children on a thematic journey to build up their knowledge of continuity and change. In Year 2, children study significant events and people. From From Years 3 - 6 children are taken on a chronological journey, alongside depth studies in world history.
We spend between 1 to 2 hours over a fortnight, usually with an hour lesson each week. History is taught as part of a half-termly topic, focusing on substantive knowledge (facts) and disciplinary knowledge (skills). In depth studies take place in years 3, 5 and 6. In addition to substantive and disciplinary knowledge, children will develop their experiential knowledge through museum visits and handling artefacts. Timelines are displayed in each classroom in order to make sense of chronology within a topic and place the topic in its wider sequence and help children develop their ‘mental timelines’.
How do pupils make progress in history?
Pupils at St Peter’s make progress by increasing:
Historical Golden Threads
We have identified a set of key historical concepts that we have called golden threads that children will repeatedly revisit throughout their time at St Peter’s from Year 2 upwards. Our golden threads are: monarchy and religion, invasion and settlement, society and legacy, exploration and empire.
By having the topics centred around these concepts, pupils are able to make links between their learning from one topic and year group to another, as well as use this knowledge to make connections with the present day and their own lives. We want the children to be able to think about these concepts over a long time span.
Key historical skills sit at the core of our curriculum to ensure the defining characteristics of the subject are ever-present.
How is History assessed?
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: