History curriculum rational
At St Luke’s we want all of our children to be happy, flourish and succeed in life. To do this, we make sure that our curriculum is engaging, diverse and enriching. Through using historical knowledge, immersive experiences and developing historical skills; we wish to give pupils a solid foundation and broad overview into some of the most important periods, events and themes in British and World history. We give our students these experiences in the hope that our pupils might go on to study the subject at university, may use these skills/knowledge in their future careers or to be an active member of society.
History is not just a reflection on the past but a tool to help predict what might come in the future. For as Winston Churchill said, ‘Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.’
We want all students at St Luke’s to explore the wonders of history and to become creative and inquisitive about the mysteries and theories around the subject. We encourage a positive mind-set in all our subjects. Though there is a lot of theoretical knowledge around history, our creative students have the opportunity to show their talents as well, by using their imaginations to step back into the past and experience the lives, technologies and civilisations of ancient times. We want every student, no matter what their strengths, to walk away from a lesson feeling that they have accomplished and learnt new things.
History uses a range of other subjects to promote immersive learning and St Luke’s makes numerous cross-curricular links. We employ maths skills, to help understand dates and chronological order. We implement writing skills at the end of each lesson to consolidate our learning and we assess our progress through an extended piece of writing at the end of each topic. We use art skills to help children appreciate different styles of art from particular time periods and different techniques/tools which were used/available at the time to artists. Additional history skills, such as source analysis, interpretation, perspective, continuity and change are all explicitly taught and practised throughout our curriculum.
We intent for all of our children to have assess to historical knowledge, no matter what their age or ability. In EYFS, children start by looking at their family’s past- how things have developed and changed over a lifetime. We also incorporate history learning through the children’s play. They have access to castles, older toys and historical costumes to expand the children’s imagination and encourage children’s curiosity. This is incorporated throughout the children’s time at St Luke’s through our links to Touchstones and other Museums. Children have access to artefacts and costumes from historical periods linking to their subject focus.
At St Luke’s we follow the Pearson curriculum, ensuring that we have an ambitious coverage of topics starting in early year and progressing through to Year 6. This curriculum challenges pupils to make connections across time and place and sets up pupils for a life-long love and understanding of an important subject, while providing a foundation of knowledge that will make them curious, active citizens of Britain and the world. The curriculum gives pupils a strong grounding in British history, taught chronologically from the first settlements through to Roman Britain, the Vikings, Anglo Saxons, the medieval period and up to the Industrial Revolution and touching on Britain during the two World Wars. While studying these periods the units explore themes of change and continuity, perspective and power.
Lessons are structured with a revision section to remember information from previous lessons or topics. Children are given the opportunity read and learn new information relevant to the topic/ lesson intention, applying their comprehension skills. The lessons are made practical with videos, library resources, loan boxes from museums and visitors to school. To conclude each lesson, the learning is reviewed. This is done in a multitude of ways – answering questions, writing a summary, acting out, plotting data or carrying out a debate.
At the end of a topic, our learning is consolidated by writing an essay.
The children plan the essay based on the lessons they have been taught throughout the half term and then create a non-chronological essay using facts, dates and key vocabulary to express their learning.
We use both summative and formative assessment every lesson to track children’s achievement and attainment through history. We use open and closed question, discussion and debates to help children formulate their own ideas and to build on their history knowledge.
Children’s work is evidenced in both their topic booklets and history books. The booklets are used by the children to record their knowledge from the lesson; history books are used to conceptualise the learning that has taken place.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to good progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will therefore be expected to leave St Luke’s reaching at least age-related expectations for History. Our History curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic history learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice and their work.
Click the link below to view our History school blog page to see some examples of how our pupils flourish in History at St. Luke’s: