At Wanstead Church School, our History curriculum inspires children to be historians.
We develop Wisdom, Compassion and Strength in our History curriculum:
Wisdom: Our History curriculum allows children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past within the locality of Wanstead and within the wider world, as well as developing skills of enquiry, chronology, interpretation and presentation. Our children are inspired to develop a curiosity for the subject and a passion and enthusiasm that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our History curriculum is unique because Wanstead Church School is over 200 years old and our children experience bespoke units of study all about our school and local area.
Compassion: Our History curriculum provides opportunities for collaborative working. Children learn to discuss their thoughts and ideas about the past showing respect for the contributions of others and the complexities of people’s lives. In their learning they are stimulated to empathise with and learn from historical figures, while developing an understanding of the limitations of the information and sources that are available.
Strength: Our History curriculum encourages children to develop resilience and courage as they use their enquiry skills to answer questions about the past, allowing children to gain a clearer understanding of the society in which they live.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in History, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.
In EYFS children develop their History skills through topic work in the area of learning entitled ‘Understanding the World’ as part of the EYFS curriculum.
The History curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills to be taught in each Key Stage. Teaching based on these guidelines equips children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
Our skills progression document ensures that the teaching of key History skills is progressive from year group to year group so that skills taught in one year group are built on those from the previous year. When teaching History, teachers are encouraged to follow the children’s interests to ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. Before planning a unit of work, teachers assess children’s prior knowledge and understanding to ensure work is pitched at the correct level. With this in mind exciting lessons are planned using our curriculum overview.
In Key Stages 1 and 2 History is taught as part of a termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. In each term, one half term is spent on learning History while the other half is spent on Geography. Children work for one hour a week on History. It can be taught discretely during weekly lessons or blocked which allows children to get a deeper and more continuous experience of the subject. History is often related to the books children study in English and cross curricular links are made with other subjects. We ensure that History has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences.
A variety of teaching approaches is used based on the teacher’s judgement. History provides excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of more able children through investigations, analysing sources and writing extended pieces. We provide a range of opportunities for History learning inside and outside the classroom. Educational visits and visitors coming into school enrich the children’s learning and give hands-on experience.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: