Leadership of History at Westwood Primary School.
Accountable: Mr Stephen Moore
Responsible: Mrs Rachel Kounnas, Mrs Nicola Usher, Miss Rachel Allen
We believe that a well rounded History curriculum will allow children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world (Westwood Primary Curriculum: Knowledge and Understanding of the World). We have carefully designed our History curriculum so that children gain this knowledge as they progress through the school. In addition to this, we recognise the important role that History plays in preparing our children with skills that they can use for life, raising their aspirations, understanding how to be a good and responsible citizen, understanding change and societal development and a context in which to understand themselves and others. This is extremely important for children at Westwood in allowing them access to a much wider world.
Through our History curriculum, we strive to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and to know more about the past. Our curriculum provides children with opportunities to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to teach children 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. We believe that teaching History in this way is important in broadening children's horizons, challenging preconceived ideas and developing life skills in order to prepare them for high school and beyond.
History lessons are underpinned by our History pillars in order to not only provide children with knowledge but also develop historical skills, allowing them to know more and do more, and encourage children to work as historians. History units are planned to ensure that lessons are built upon the key ideas in the History pillars and units always work towards children developing this knowledge and skills.
We intend for our children to have real life experiences and learn about History in an active and creative way and therefore visitors and trips form a fundamental part of our curriculum. Links to Geography and other subject areas are also explored. The planning of learning always begins with the skills and knowledge that needs to be taught in order to build upon prior learning and enrichment opportunities and opportunities to apply learning are carefully designed through the planning process.
At Westwood we are guided by the National Curriculum for History (2014). The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all 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
History Key Concepts
Alongside our History pillars which underpin good practice in History, children explore key concepts as they move through the school. Our curriculum is laid out in such a way that the children will initially learn about their immediate history, that being their family and location. This will be a starting block in EYFS and built upon as they enter Key Stage 1. Once this is consolidated, they will gain a wider experience of global history. As a child moves through our school, their historical knowledge and understanding will deepen as it would have been built on the foundations laid in the previous years. The concepts that children explore are revisited in different units allowing children to apply new knowledge to the concept in order to prepare them for future learning and life.