History

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Why do we teach History?

Our past is of crucial importance because we cannot know who we are today without knowing where we came from yesterday; History allows us to do this. At Wrenbury, we want our children to develop a curiosity about the past which will allow them to find out who they are as individuals, who they are as part of a society and who they are as part of the human race; a species that has lived and evolved on planet Earth for thousands of years.

We want our children to understand that History is all about people, cultures and places of the past, how we know about them and what we can learn from them. Our children will be given the opportunity to develop a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain's past and that of the wider world. At Wrenbury, children gain the skills they need to effectively inquire about the past and how it has shaped modern Britain. They are taught to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.

The aims of History in our school are:

  • 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
    cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history
    short- and long-term timescales.

    Curriculum & School Organisation
    Coverage of History in each year group is integrated where possible into termly Learning Journey plans. Medium term planning is incorporated into termly holistic plans. Evidence of the learning in history can be evidenced through children's Learning Journey books, display of work, photographs and newsfeeds on the website. We aim to teach History as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. We seek every opportunity to develop History with cross curricular links to Maths, Literacy, Computing and Design and Technology and any other subject when suitable.

    EYFS Area: Understanding of the World
    By the end of Reception children should:
    People and Communities: Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don't always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

    Key stage 1 and 2 History is planned from the statutory programmes of study within the National Curriculum.

    Teaching and learning style
    History teaching at Wrenbury focuses on maintaining curiosity. In every series of lessons, we aim to give children opportunities to ask questions about the past and use primary and secondary sources to find answers. The teacher must also ensure children understand the reliability of the sources they are using and take into consideration the possibility of bias.

    History is linked to Learning Journey topics where possible. However, where links might be considered tenuous, it will be taught as a discrete subject. Where work is cross curricular, children may experience History through:

    Enquiry based research
    Use of data -- statistics, graphs, pictures and photographs
    Computing to gather research or present information
    Role play
    Problem solving
    Outdoor education and visits
    Literacy and Numeracy lessons
    Links to other subjects
    Current affairs

    The learning environment
    The learning environment is of great importance at Wrenbury. History in the classrooms will:

    • Promote and maintain curiosity;
    • Provide a stimulus for the history focus being taught and learned;
    • Create safe investigative environments for children to explore history, pose questions and find answers;
    • Provide access to the resources necessary for children to question, enquire, analyse and discover;
    • Provide an interactive learning focus to engage children with History;
    • Celebrate pupils' learning and achievements and showcase the History taking place in school.

    Curriculum enhancement opportunities
    School visits with links to history, visitors to school, history experiences during Learning Journey theme days and whole school projects all provide further opportunities to participate in history. This will include spot light on History days including Remembrance Day.

    Assessment, Recording and Reporting
    We currently assess children's learning at the end of a series of lessons through class teacher's judgments, AfL and an assessment task. The children are assessed as 'above expectation', 'online' or 'below expectation'. This information is collated annually by class teachers.

    The History Subject Leader monitors coverage, standards and progression through reviewing cohort assessment, lesson observations, work in books/display and pupil voice. The History Subject Leader will produce a curriculum review at year end and this feeds into action plans and an annual curriculum report to governors.

    Monitoring, review and evaluation
    Monitoring the standard of children's work and the quality of teaching in History is the responsibility of the History Subject Leader. The History Subject Leader is also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of History, informing staff of developments in the subject and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school.

    The History Subject Leader will provide an annual curriculum review and feedback form which will be shared with Governors at the annual Curriculum meeting. The professional development needs of staff are assessed through monitoring and where necessary further training is provided. This may be Professional Development Opportunities provided internally or external courses as appropriate.

    To deepen the understanding of the governors about the teaching of history at Wrenbury, the subject lead presents 'History at Wrenbury' to the Teaching and Learning committee. This allows for questions and answers and therefore greater clarity. Our link governor, acting as a Critical Friend, will also be invited into school to monitor History. This may be to talk to children, observe History being taught and meet with the History subject-leader to discuss the standing of History in school. Each year the Critical Friend will complete feedback which will inform future monitoring.

    Coverage and progression is monitored by the Subject Leader. The introduction of the new curriculum in 2014 does mean there will be a four year period (2014 -2018) where standards may fluctuate.
    The History Subject Leader ensures policy is in practice and is implemented across the school.

    Resourcing
    The school buys into the Education Library Service and is able to order a wide range of quality books and artefacts to support the teaching of history. Teachers actively source other resources — photographs, illustrations, artefacts that will enhance the learning in history.

    Websites can be used through the desktops and IWB in each classroom.
    Wrenbury provides children with the opportunity to maintain curiosity beyond the classroom through outdoor areas, educational visits, homework tasks and, wherever possible, through visitors to school.

    CPD
    Where opportunities arise, the History Subject Leader will attend regular courses for latest developments in History or liaise with colleagues form other schools to ensure that our teaching in history is up-to-date. This is shared with staff formally (staff meetings) and informally (ongoing professional dialogue). Where staff request further CPD, the Subject Leader will arrange in liaison with the head.
    2017-18 — the NEP (Nantwich Education Partnership) is looking to set up a History Hub with the support of a History Specialist. Wrenbury will be part of the hub.

    Curriculum Risk Assessment
    Staff are asked to use professional judgment with regard to pupil safety in individual lessons. Where it is deemed necessary, individual lesson risk assessments will be completed.

    Links with other subjects
    We seek every opportunity to develop history with cross curricular links to all areas of the curriculum when appropriate.