At St Michael’s Primary School, we aim to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence. Through our curriculum, we aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. We aim to support our pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each class, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of History. We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries. In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, we to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.
We have adopted Kapow Primary’s History scheme of work as it enables our pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National curriculum.
Through the Kapow scheme of work that we have implemented, we have identified the following key strands:
Knowledge of facts relating to each topic area;
Understanding of substantive concepts
Historical enquiry skills;
Use of disciplinary concepts
These strands are interwoven through all our History units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do. Our lessons have a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. Our History curriculum begins in the Early Years where the knowledge and vocabulary that children develop, particularly through the ‘understanding the world’ area of learning, enable them to access history content at key stage 1. As the children move into Key stage 1 they will develop their awareness of the past and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time. Each class has a timeline displayed to support our children in developing this chronological awareness. Our units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to follow the enquiry cycle (Question, Investigate, Interpret, Evaluate and conclude, Communicate) when answering historical questions.
Over the course of the scheme, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
- Change and continuity.
- Cause and consequence.
- Similarities and differences.
- Historical significance.
- Historical interpretations.
- Sources of evidence.
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As children progress through school, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed. Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, and revisited in Key stage 2 (see our Progression of skills and knowledge document) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History. Our curriculum follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.
Our lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.
Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required.
The impact of our History curriculum can be constantly monitored both throughout and at the end of each unit. Each lesson (in our chosen curriculum resource) includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a skill catcher and knowledge assessment quiz which can be used at the end of the unit to provide a summative assessment.
After the implementation of our History curriculum pupils should leave St Michael's equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. The expected impact of following the Kapow History scheme of work is that children will:
- Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.
- Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
- Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences.
- Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
- Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
- Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
- Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
- Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History