Foundation Stage Topic - Can you live in a castle?
At Our Lady and St Joseph’s, our approach to History is grounded in an absolute belief for every child to engage with and reach their full potential, regardless of background. The history curriculum at Our Lady and St. Joseph’s makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality. The curriculum is delivered by classroom teachers, planned and supported by our history specialist and curriculum lead. By providing a rich and diverse experience and strong quality first teaching within the school, we believe that our children will build the knowledge and historical skills to be able to demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, in addition to being curious to know more about the past.
Curriculum – What do we teach?
The school history curriculum is fully aligned to the National Curriculum and provides a knowledge-rich history education which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
Our history curriculum is ambitious for all year groups. The aim is for all children to leave equipped with an understanding of the past that prepares them for their future. Throughout their journey in history, pupils will secure a breadth of knowledge, of places, people and significant events through time. By the end of KS2, all children should be equipped to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
At Our Lady's it is of pivotal importance that the historical heritage of our children is highlighted and celebrated. Our knowledge of our local area is re-visited and built upon in each key stage to ensure our children leave our school with a rich knowledge of their local area.
Year 1/2 school visit to the National Coal Mining Museum
Pedagogy – How do we teach it?
Our history curriculum is a spiral curriculum, taught in topic blocks. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped out to ensure progression throughout the school. Timelines and knowledge organisers are used consistently in each topic to highlight substantive knowledge (key dates and facts).
At Our Lady and Saint Joseph’s, we use enquiry questions as a curricular tool to organise content. High-quality enquiry questions help organise historical content to enable pupils to develop disciplinary and substantive knowledge simultaneously, with their understanding of each supporting the other. Our enquiry questions stimulate our pupils to think like historians.
Year 5 lesson - Were the Ancient Greeks civilised?
Assessment – How do we measure progress?
Substantive knowledge (dates and facts) are frequently assessed through the use of quizzes at the beginning or end of each History lesson. Not only does this allow our teachers to gauge pupil understanding, but also gives our children an opportunity to frequently re-visit prior learning.
Spaced learning through the use of topic morning tasks equally enables our children to re-visit previous history topics time and time again.
Our use of enquiry questions also enables our teachers to effectively assess our children’s use of disciplinary concepts and skills. Our children are additionally encouraged to improve and evaluate topic outcomes through the use of rubrics.
Year 1 lesson - Kings, Queens and Monarchy
Inclusion – How do we meet the needs of all learners?
A key principle of our teaching is about belief that every child can engage with the history curriculum for their year group. Carefully chosen content ensures children gain clear historical perspective so that they are curious, confident learners equipped for the next phase of learning and excited to play their part of as active citizens in the world.