At Earlham Primary School we believe that history helps pupils to understand their own identify and the challenges of our time through the study of diverse societies; the process of change and the relationships between different groups. We are committed to equipping pupils with both the substantive and disciplinary knowledge to provide them with a coherent knowledge of, and curiosity about, the past. The acquisition of knowledge is central to our curriculum. We believe that comprehensive study of the humanities also enables pupils to acquire a wider and richer vocabulary which will more widely benefit their literacy and language skills.
Finally, our aim is for pupils to develop their identity as citizens of the world – understanding their place in our world community and equipping them to engage with and challenge current issues such as social injustice and work to improve our world. We feel that we will enable them to do this by providing them with a comprehensive understanding of their place in the world as they look across time, space and culture and a confidence to think critically and challenge confidently. Our curriculum is designed to engage with our richly multicultural school community for example through the selection and study of diverse significant individuals in KS1 and the themed study of migration through time in year 6, providing pupils with a comprehensive understanding of its role in creating multi-cultural Britain.
Implementation and overview
In EYFS pupils begin to develop their sense of time through, for example, the sharing of stories with a sense of time; study of people from the past; study and comparison of how they have changed since babyhood and how other animals such as frogs change during their lifecycle.
Pupils in KS1 are taught a humanities lesson each week – often this will be either a geography or history focused unit, alternating each half term. There is an emphasis on developing their awareness of the past and the associated vocabulary. They study events both within and beyond living memory and identify similarities and differences between different periods. They begin to ask and answer historical questions and use sources to understand how we find out about the past.
In KS2, history is taught discretely with a term spent on each unit in order to allow time for pupils to familiarise themselves with key facts and explore the topic in appropriate depth. Lessons are taught weekly. Units are carefully and chronologically sequenced to allow pupils to build on their previous knowledge and develop a secure knowledge of local, British and world history. This culminates in year 6 with a theme based study which looks at how an aspect of national history (migration) is reflected in our locality and extends pupils historical knowledge beyond 1066.
Acquisition of knowledge is central to our history curriculum. This approach fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and provides pupils with the substantive knowledge necessary to acquire a coherent knowledge of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Whilst also providing them with an understanding of the disciplinary subject skills so that they are increasingly able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.