At Hareside Primary we aim to provide a curriculum with a coherently planned sequence of
lessons to ensure the progression of skills and concepts required. Lessons taught aim to develop historical skills and the four main concepts which are transferable to whatever period in history is being studied and aims to equip children for future thinking and learning.
The procedural concepts in history which are revisited and built on throughout each year are:
- Cause and consequence
- Chronology change and continuity
- Historical Significance
Through our approach to teaching history we aim to develop children’s understanding of the past allowing them to think and write as historians, developing their understanding of the importance of evidence and the historical significance of different people and civilisations who have lived before them.
The study of history in Primary school is important for children's conceptual development. They can begin to understand that the past has many different components and that each era is different from the next, as well as noting similarities and trends. The study of history builds children's understanding of society.
At Hareside we believe in order for children to fully understand and have the ability to recall knowledge of history studied, the lessons taught are structured sequentially whereby prior knowledge and learning is always considered. We provide opportunities for revision of facts and prior discussions in order for revision to become part of good practice to help build on the depth of historical understanding through the taught concepts. Timelines are integral in providing children with the opportunity to make links between the periods they study. As the children progress through school and the key stages they are given more opportunities to conduct their own research and develop an understanding that there are many interpretations when looking at historical evidence. Acknowledging that evidence is open to interpretation.
We aim to plan educational visits and link with local museums to provide the children with an evidence rich experience where they are exposed to artefacts and a range of historical sources. We hope to inspire and develop a love and an investigative approach to primary history across all key stages starting in Early Years.
At Hareside Primary, our history curriculum follows the National Curriculum and is taught in half termly blocks throughout the school year. Key knowledge and skills (procedural concepts) for each topic have been identified to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school.
In Nursery and Reception classes, History is taught as an integral part of topic work covered throughout the year. In the Early Years, History forms a key part of the curriculum strand ‘Past and Present’. Opportunities for the children to speak about their daily routines, recall past events from the weekend or previous days and use photographs to recall personal special memories. All which provide opportunities for language of the passing of time to become everyday language which is familiar to the children. Such as now, next, before, last, tomorrow, yesterday, last week etc… As the children progress into Reception they start to build on this language and form discussions based on familiar images from the past. They begin to about how things were different in the past through characters and pictures in stories. The children use timelines to sequence their understanding and provide a practical opportunity to use the taught vocabulary in context. In Reception the children learn about historical figures of the past such as Mary Anning as part of a unit of work around dinosaurs and Blackbeard whilst looking at pirates.
Key Stage 1
In Year 1 the children begin looking at history within living memory where they can further develop their historical literacy noting similarities and differences when making comparisons of toys from the past and present. This is where the children start to note chronology and change and begin to understand sequencing using simple term to express the passing of time. They then study the lives of two significant individuals, Neil Armstrong and Pocahontas. This introduces the concept of significance and that individuals were not born significant and the children start to consider ways in which the individuals had an impact or helped us in some way. In Year 2 the children begin looking at cause and consequence through the Great Fire of London unit, where they are introduced to the idea that events in history can be directly linked and that evidence can provide us with many reasons or explanations. They further build on their understanding of timelines and produce simple sequential timelines. When looking at a significant historical event or person within our locality, Year 2 children move beyond personal experience and transfer this understanding of significance to an historical context, Grace Darling asking ‘Why should we remember Grace Darling?’
Lower Key Stage 2
Throughout LKS2 planned units and lessons are taught with a strong chronological thread to allow the children to get to grips with chronology. This also allows the children to make connections between their past learning and build on this, noting similarities and differences during the passing of time.
Year 3 begin with changes in Britain during the Stone Age to Iron Age, where they focus on change and continuity, using dated timelines to demonstrate the duration of change. This is then followed by a unit of work on Romans and their impact on Britain, focusing in on cause and consequence. Then a local study of the history of Cramlington and mining in the local area. Both units provide opportunities for evidence based research which allows cross referencing of evidence and the children to gain an understanding that we can make inferences from evidence to support our ideas.
The chronology of lessons then continues into Year 4 where they study Anglo Saxons then Vikings. They build on the idea that evidence is important, but does it tell us everything? Using discussion to decide whether evidence is useful or not. Dated timelines are used to record key events and scaling becomes more important in order to develop the concept of continuity and change within a period of time. As a final history unit the children focus in on the life and significance of John Blanke. This unit focuses around the evidence concept and allows the children to select and interpret a range of evidence to draw their own conclusions using evidence to support.
Upper Key Stage 2
Once the children reach Upper Key Stage 2 there is no longer a chronology of the periods of work that are studied. This is because we believe that by Year 5 the children have the tools and understanding to make more comparisons across different periods in time and focus on more complex ideas making more informed opinions and conclusions whilst conducting more self-led research. In Year 5 the first history unit is WWII which has an evidence historical concept focus. Children understand the need to work things out from historical sources, going beyond the literal to make claims based on their inference and understanding. They begin to question the reliability of evidence presented for a given key question and use it to support their understanding. They then focus on chronology, continuity and change whilst studying Ancient Egypt and then Mayan civilisation. Timelines produced are scaled but the children also use them to support their understanding of how the pace and extent of change can vary over time.
In year 6 whilst looking at Ancient Greece children have the opportunity to revisit significance and build on their development of significance of a person or event and move towards looking at significance more in terms of within a longer time frame demanding a greater breadth of knowledge. Again the opportunity for self-led research is present where the children can develop their understanding selecting appropriate or relevant evidence to the key question. The final unit of year 6 pulls together elements from all the key historical concepts in a combined history and geography unit based around migration stories. This unit allows the children to explore immigration across time and link their findings and evidence to people who lived through the experience, both past and present.
The impact of our history curriculum will show how much children enjoy their history lessons and can talk with enthusiasm, using historical literacy to explain their own historical interpretations. Our children will become inquisitive learners, with an understanding of chronology, who are able to demonstrate a variety of transferrable skills through using the concepts in different topics.
We use a range of strategies to assess what skills and knowledge the children have attained through each topic including the following:
• Marking and feedback from teachers and peers
• Relevant displays in classrooms
• Book looks
• Learning walks
• Pupil voice
• Planning audits
• End of Key Stage progression benchmarks
Our History Curriculum
History Curriculum - EYFS to Year
History Curiculum - Key Stage 1 and Key Stage