"History helps pupils 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. " (NC 2013)
We aim to inspire our pupils' curiosity to explore the history of the world in which they live; asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments and developing perspective and judgement. Children's exploration and endeavour will result in a wide-ranging and deep knowledge of history; of places, people and significant events through time. Key historical competencies will develop so pupils display excellence in: chronological understanding, knowledge of events and their impact, significant people and changes from the past.
History is taught through half-termly or termly units of study. In Reception, pupils start by learning about themselves and their place in the world through the "All About Me" theme, that looks at them as individuals, e.g. how they have changed since being a baby and their family. In Key Stage 1 children develop understanding of time starting with things within living memory (e.g. the theme "Was it more fun to be a child in your Grandparents' time?"). They then extend their chronological understanding by exploring the impact of significant people and events beyond living memory (e.g. the Wright brothers and the first flight and the Great Fire of London). As their knowledge of chronology develops, pupils explore themes (such as the history of communication) and learn how the changes over time affect people and their lives.
Once pupils have built their basic understanding of chronology in Key Stage 1, the history curriculum divides into two main strands for Key Stage 2: a study of Britain's past and a series of studies about civilisations across the world. British History concepts are taught chronologically, starting with Settlers of the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age. The knowledge taught provides a sound foundation for future historical learning and enables pupils to develop their historical competencies. The study of civilisations is linked to Geographical studies of regions, e.g. children learn about the Ancient Greeks after learning about Europe.
Throughout the school, alongside the rich knowledge taught in the units of study, pupils develop excellence in historical competencies. The understanding and appreciation of historical significance, continuity and change, cause and effect and perspective, are ongoing skills that are taught and retaught. They are not assigned to any single unit of study but are constantly revisited. This results in pupils, leaving school, being able to think like historians; debate what is historically significant, consider the impact of changes, study events to identify recurrent themes and ideas, basing their arguments on historical evidence.