Blackfell Primary School

History

Intent

At Blackfell Primary School, history education should be fully inclusive to every child.  Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for History. Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about History that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

A high-quality History education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world as well as the future (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England).

History teaching at Blackfell Primary School has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to enjoy learning about the past and to have a better understanding of the society in which they live. History fires curiosity about the past and wider world.

Based on the Rosenshine Principles by providing instructional support; teaching new material in manageable amounts; good use of modelling; helping pupils when they have made errors and providing for sufficient practice and review we ensure that the children at our school efficiently acquire, rehearse, and connect background knowledge.

The aims of teaching history in our school are:

  • Develop chronological understanding of periods of time
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of key events
  • Know about famous people who have influenced the course of history
  • Recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways
  • Be able to use a range of sources to select and record relevant information
  • Develop a range of skills necessary to communicate their knowledge and understanding

Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers

All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.

Implementation

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in History, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. We believe that History can be better understood with geographical understanding so have made linked our Geography units where we feel applicable.  Long term plans for History and Geography are on a combined document found below.

At Blackfell, 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. The History curriculum at Blackfell Primary School is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills and taught in each Key Stage. Teachers plan lessons for their class using our progression of knowledge and skills document (Blackfell Schemes of Work). Teachers can use this document to plan History lessons suitable to their class’ prior attainment. Before planning a unit of work, teachers will assess children’s prior knowledge and understanding through questioning and ‘Flash Back Grids’, to ensure work is pitched at the correct level. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement. Teaching subject specific vocabulary is also a key part of our History curriculum and this should be displayed within the classroom and updated regularly to reflect the current learning. The vocabulary children will need for that unit is identified on our ‘Blackfell Schemes of Work’ and this builds upon the vocabulary they have learnt in previous years.

The progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills/knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group. History assessment is based on teacher assessment of children and incorporates ‘Locked in Learning’ and end of unit quizzes. During lessons, ‘Braindrops’ are used for children to demonstrate what they have learnt during a lesson. Teachers will also use ‘Flash Back Grids’ within each unit to assess the retention of learning. At the end of each unit, assessments are then reported on the school’s assessment document and the percentage of children working at, above and below the expected standard are identified for that unit. At the end of each year, a judgement is also made as to whether each child has met the expected standard in History which is then passed on to the next class teacher as a record of the child’s progress throughout the year.

Our KS2 topics reflect Britain's past chronologically and the children build upon this through their own personal timelines that follow them through their school journey.  We explore the wider world through investigating the Ancient Greek, Egyptian and Mayan civilisations.

The North-East of England is the birth place of a range of important figures that have left a story or helped change the world.  Our curriculum design explores these characters in detail.  Each year group will study one of the following: Grace Darling, famed for participating in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked Forfarshire in 1838; George Stephenson, The Father of the Railways; Sir Joseph Swan, an English physicist and chemist who created the incandescent light bulb; Sir William George Armstrong, an interesting engineer and inventor famed for creating the first hydro-electric powered house in the world.  We also explore events significant to our region such as 'The Great Fire of Gateshead' and our coal mining and ship building heritage.

We aim for our curriculum to inspire a hunger for learning more about the past.  All lessons begin with a key question that we aim to explore.  We want children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, investigate arguments and develop perspective and judgement.

History also challenges more able pupils through allowing them to analyse sources, look at a range of different interpretations and reason about the past which encourages higher order thinking and critical analysis. At Blackfell Primary School, we provide a variety of opportunities for history learning inside and outside the classroom. Every year we celebrate ‘Black History Month’. where the subject leader/teacher plans fun, engaging activities linked to history the children to complete. These activities should be guided by the children’s interests in particular topics.

Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the classroom. At Blackfell Primary School, the children have many opportunities to experience History on educational visits. The children have previously explored local museums and had visitors into school to share History learning and have hands on experiences.

Impact

Within History, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry-based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school.

Our History curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught
  • Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning
  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum
  • Marking of written work in books

Miss. Henderson

September 2021