At Brunton First School, our history curriculum aims to develop children's understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today.
We believe that oracy, metacognition, and community are key drivers in achieving this aim.
Our history curriculum provides opportunities for children to develop their speaking and listening skills, enabling them to communicate confidently and articulately about historical events, people, and concepts. Through discussions, debates, and presentations, children will develop their vocabulary, ability to explain their ideas, and the capacity to listen to and learn from others.
Successful Lifelong Learners (Metacognition)
Our history curriculum encourages children to think critically about the past and how we know what we know about it. Children will be taught to ask questions, evaluate evidence, and reflect on their own learning, developing their metacognitive skills and enabling them to become independent, self-directed learners.
Our history curriculum recognises that history is a shared human experience and that the study of history can help to develop children’s sense of belonging and identity within their community. Through investigating local history and the histories of diverse cultures, children will learn about different perspectives and ways of life, promoting mutual respect and understanding.
Through these curriculum drivers, our history curriculum aims to inspire children’s curiosity, develop their understanding of the past, and equip them with the skills they need to become informed, thoughtful, and active citizens in the world around them.
At Brunton First School, we believe that learning about history should be fun and engaging and recognise the importance of providing our students with a comprehensive curriculum that fosters a deep understanding of the past, promotes critical thinking skills, and develops a strong sense of empathy and respect for others.
History is, at heart, an investigative subject and through our curriculum, children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We seek to inspire, in children, a curiosity and fascination about the past and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
At Brunton First School, our history curriculum enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas. History is used to enhance British Values such as democracy and rule of law. Children are taught about the origins of democracy and are given the opportunity to see how rules of law have changed or have been developed throughout time. Our history curriculum also supports children’s understanding of socio-economic and gender equality changes throughout time, allowing them to make comparisons and identify changes or connections across different time periods.
Children are also given lots of enrichment opportunities to develop their cultural capital and develop their own love of history through our educational visits, school visitors and university outreach work.
Throughout their Brunton journey, children develop the knowledge and skills needed to become effective historians through our progressive curriculum. Because of this experience, we are confident that our Brunton children will succeed in their next education journey at middle school and beyond.
At Brunton First School, the teaching and learning of history focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We have created a well sequenced and progressive curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to be procedurally fluent in, to work and think like historians.
The key concepts in history we plan progression for are as follows:
- Using different sources for historical enquiry
- Cause and Consequence
- Change and Continuity
- Historical Significance
- Historical Perspective
History at Brunton First School is taught through skills-based lessons using an over-arching ‘Big’ enquiry question. Each lesson, the children will use their reoccurring historical concepts to achieve the knowledge and understanding needed to ultimately answer their ‘Big’ enquiry question by the end of their topic.
Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills associated with each historical concept with familiar progressive themes. Careful time and consideration has been given to ensure progression across concepts and skills throughout each year group across the school. Using this model, teachers understand the children’s prior learning as their lessons build upon these foundations. Teachers are then able to support all children in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
At Brunton First School, history makes a significant contribution to the development of each child’s understanding of the wider world. We provide activities such as examining photos of themselves at birth and looking for change over time, using stories that introduce a sense of time and people from the past, comparing artefacts from different times, e.g. teddies, and making the most of opportunities to value children’s histories from their own and other cultures.
In Reception, history is taught as an integral part of topic work covered during the year. In EYFS, history is about having the opportunities to find out and learn about the world they live in and discover the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives. The history side of children’s work is related to the Knowledge and Understanding of the World objectives set out in the EYFS Curriculum.
At Brunton First School, during Key Stage 1, children learn about significant events and individuals from the more recent past (within living memory) from national life, as well as in their own locality. 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 and use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms to explain their understanding. Children begin to learn about the more distant past (beyond living memory) through topics, which helps develop their chronological understanding. They use a range of resources available to help them understand a life very different from their own.
At Brunton First School, during Key Stage 2, children continue to learn about significant people, events and places, however this is studied more chronologically from the Stone Age in Year 3 to The Victorians in Year 4. They also learn about change and continuity in their own locality, in Britain and in other parts of the world. 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 development. They also develop their understanding that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
• A starter activity to remind pupils of prior learning and encourage children to revisit key facts, using appropriate historical language and develop their working memory as they acquire new subject knowledge
• A hook or engaging lesson opening which inspires the children and places the learning in context
• Introduction of key historical concepts, vocabulary or knowledge with opportunities to talk, explore and share ideas
• A task reflecting the historical concept being focussed on that lesson. This may be completed individually or through pair/group work and is supported by staff as appropriate
• Plenary with opportunity to revisit and reflect on key vocabulary and learning
Through our history lessons we use a metacognitive approach to teaching and learning which includes:
• Explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies – activating prior knowledge, independent practice and structured reflection
• Modelling by the staff, verbalising their thinking and scaffolding tasks in relation to design and technology
• Setting an appropriate level of challenge
• Promoting and developing metacognitive talk in the classroom – language development and acquisition
• Explicitly teaching children how to organise and effectively manage their learning
In History, assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding, and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Target groups will be both planned for and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately.
The Head teacher and history subject leader play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of history in the school.
The monitoring strategy:
1. Children’s work and planning scrutinies are conducted.
2. Pupil voice is conducted to ascertain how children feel about their learning.
3. Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year.
The subject leader is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time.
Through this implementation strategy, we aim to provide our students with a high-quality history education that equips them with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become informed, responsible, and engaged citizens.
Overall, we want our Brunton history curriculum to inspire our children and ignite their curiosity. We want our children to know more, remember more and understand more about history by developing both their substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Through providing our pupils with a well-planned, structured curriculum, which excites and challenges, along with tight formative and summative assessment our children will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to become historians. Our expectations are high and through our quality first teaching, supportive monitoring and conversations with pupils and teachers, we are confident that students at Brunton First School will know more, remember more and understand more about history.