History

Learning

What does history look like at Meldreth Primary?
Our curriculum is designed with either a History or Geography focus as the centre of each project. Within this design, there is at least one local focus because we believe this enables our children to place their learning in context. It is our intent that pupils develop a sense of time and place through a series of coherently planned, sequenced experiences. Each History project begins with placing the subject on an age appropriate timeline, which references previous learning and historical vocabulary, is explicitly shared to ensure children are equipped with a practical tool kit to be a Historian.
 
Children are proactive in their learning and generate lines of enquiry themselves to be explored alongside National Curriculum coverage. Work with real historical artefacts inspires curiosity and our children benefit from our strong community links as projects include a real visitor or trip to embed the skills of historical enquiry.
 
In Key Stage 2, once children have developed a strong sense of past and present, periods of history are introduced in chronological order as much as possible so periods of history studied in lower Key Stage 2 precede those taught in upper Key Stage 2. Our curriculum is organised on a 2 year roll and carefully planned so that children have opportunities to revisit and review previous learning whilst acquiring new knowledge and skills.
 
Our curriculum is designed to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We want to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. It is important that we help pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as developing an understanding of their own identity and the challenges of their time.
 
Our Curriculum Aims
Our curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales
 
Content
The coverage of historical periods will depend on events that are happening nationally throughout the year. Progression will be ensured through thorough planning and assessment.
 
Early Years Foundation Stage: During the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children begin learning history using experience of their personal timeline. Children will relate periods of History to their own way of life now.  Projects with a History base will have a visitor or trip to allow children to see and handle real historical artefacts in an environment outside of the classroom. Historical artefacts, the natural world, new life,  and stories provide excellent opportunities for learning about History in the Early Years Foundation Stage and is successfully built on at Key Stage 1.
 
Key Stage 1
Pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. Additionally, pupils will develop and use a wide vocabulary of historical terms. They are taught to ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They develop an understanding of some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
 
Pupils are taught about:
  • changes within living memory – where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally (for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries)
  • the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods
  • significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
 
Key Stage 2
Pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They will learn about connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. Furthermore, pupils will increasingly construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They will develop their understanding of how the knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, we aim to combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.