History is who we are and why we are the way we are. ’David McCullough
‘I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.’ Thomas Jefferson
‘People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture are like a tree without roots.’ Marcus Garvey
Mrs. S. Crook, History Lead
These are only three of many countless views on the subject of History and I personally believe all of them. Therefore, the aim of History teaching at St Oswald’s is to ensure that all pupils are given the opportunity to learn about the past in Britain and the wider world. History is a valued part of our ‘Touch the Future’ curriculum at our school, with detailed planning providing learning opportunities that spark children’s curiosity and inspire them to learn about real people who lived in the past and about real events, set in a context of time. 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. What we learn from the past, helps us plan for the future.
Siobhan Crook, History Subject Leader
It is our intent to provide all children with a broad and balanced curriculum. Our programme of study is designed to help equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History will help 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.
The curriculum is implemented in such a way that builds on prior knowledge. This ensures there is a smooth progression throughout the topics. Our curriculum is planned with care and precision so as to engage and inspire pupils of all ability levels. Long-term plans clearly map out the themes covered in each term for each year group. In addition to outlining the themes to be covered, the plans ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of skills to be taught each term. Each topic is broken down into lessons with specific lesson objectives. These objectives build on developing key skills. For example, following on from the topic of the Romans in Year 4, children then build on these skills in Year 5 during the topic of Invaders and the fall of the Roman Empire. Children build on historical enquiry skills year after year, in Year 3 children learn how to find out what life was like in the Stone Age by, ‘Using different sources of information.‘ Building on this in Year 4 where pupils are required to ‘Use secondary evidence to identify key historical facts’. We have high expectations for the presentation of historical learning in books and expect our children to take pride in recording evidence such as timelines, written pieces of work, and research. Children are also given the opportunity to apply their historical skills and knowledge to other curriculum areas. Cross-curricular opportunities are provided throughout the school such as Design and Technology (building structures), Art (sketches and collages), Computing (internet research of significant events and individuals), Maths (reading of graphs and charts), Geography (journeys that historical figures have undertaken).
We measure the impact of our curriculum by monitoring each child’s progress using teachers’ formative assessment and adjusting teaching accordingly to suit the needs of individuals. Children are interviewed on an informal basis during lesson observations by the History Subject Leader, to gauge pupils’ opinions about the teaching of History and the understanding of skills learned, such as chronological awareness. Long-term and medium-term history plans and history books are monitored by the Subject Leader to ensure full curriculum coverage.
Throughout their learning journey, our children build on knowledge and skills to be able to be confident in asking relevant questions, in a historical context. They understand the chronology of events in the past from International, British and Local History and can understand how to use research skills and secondary sources to identify key historical facts. We aim for them to maintain an interest in history and historical facts as they move into secondary education, to confidently talk about events from the past, and to remember an event or series of events that sparked their curiosity.