We believe that learning about the past helps us to understand our present. We teach history as the story of our world from the beginning of time to the present and help children understand that the present will one day be part of history, using narrative to teach about key people and events from our local area, our country and the wider world. We help children to understand the majority of human history occurred before the invention of writing, so much of our knowledge of these times is based on historians’ interpretation of artefacts, which may change over time as new evidence becomes available. We help children understand that we learn about the past from a range of sources and give children skills to evaluate whether a source may be biased as well as analysing the validity of different viewpoints around the same event or person. Our curriculum aims to represent the history of a range of diverse people and draws on local expertise and resources to enhance teaching about key people and events in our town, including the historical importance of Watling Street and Dunstable Priory.
History is taught in blocks from Year 1 to Year 6. One History block will be taught each term of the Year. Each of these blocks have been planned using a Big Question, which follows throughout the block of work. Within these blocks smaller questions have been planned so that this can be developed to further develop their understanding. Teachers then plan the key knowledge and skills of each lesson. Consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. We have bought a whole school display that follows this and children are brought to this display regularly to relate current, previous and future learning. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Islamic Civilisation. Cross-curricular outcomes in history are identified and planned for, with strong links between reading, writing, maths and art/design. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum. In addition, staffs have access to Twinkl, Plan Bee, CGP materials and resources; however, teachers lesson design is not limited by this and is informed by wider research. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect our curriculum and a sound understanding of the key concepts and identified knowledge.
Standards in History are high with most pupils achieving age-related expectations or greater-depth in their learning. They develop an understanding of key periods of history and chronology and are excited and motivated to learn more, making links to previous and future learning. They benefit from opportunities to link learning from other curriculum areas and independent research, enabling them to transfer this to other areas of learning. They have the technical vocabulary necessary to explain their understanding and respond with critical thinking supported by facts. Evidence shows high quality recording and presentation of understanding, a range of topics covered, cross curriculum links and differentiated work.