At Devoran, we aim to provide a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
The delivery of teaching and learning in history has been split into three phases.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children listen to stories, ask how and why; use the past, present and future tense; talk about the past and present in their own lives and the lives of family members; recognise similarities and differences between families and traditions, objects and materials; and role play and make up stories. There are many opportunities here for children to find out about the past. KS1 develop their historical skills by expanding their focuses on significant individuals and events, as well as changes that children can easily identify with, for example: toys, books, transport.
In Lower Key Stage 2 the focus on the History of Britain from the earliest civilisations up until 1066 (Stone/Bronze/Iron Age, Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings). Each History topic relevant to this area is taught in chronological order to ensure understanding of the British timeline. In addition, each of these topics assess how these periods have contributed to and impacted modern Britain. There are also opportunities to learn beyond 1066. In Y3 there is a local history study on Cornish mining so children can gain a cultural understanding of the place they live. In Y4 there is a social history topic which explores the history medicine in the UK. Again, allowing children to gain a cultural experience and give reasoning for the way we live in the modern day.
With a secure understanding of British history in place, this allows Upper Key Stage 2 to broaden their horizons by exploring history of the wider world (Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt and The Maya) and how/if that has influenced/impacted Britain. It also allows for the children to build their historical enquiry skills by asking enquiry questions such as; What did the Greeks ever do for us? Why were/are the British fascinated by Ancient Egypt? Etc… Similarly, as in LKS2, there are also opportunities to go beyond 1066. In Y5 there is a local history study on the Cornish Rebellion which supports children in questioning and recognizing their sense of place within the UK and also offers an insight to early Tudor Britain. In Y6, The Battle of Britain unit allows the children to finish their primary history journey in the twentieth century with what can be argued to be one of the most significant turning points in British history.
To deliver this learning we use a ‘sandwich’ approach to teaching and learning. The top layer is a historical enquiry – an over-arching question. The filling is the build up of:
o People, events, situations and developments;
o Chronology and characteristics features;
o Historical terms; and
o Similarity/Difference; and
Each lesson we deliver should build the children’s ‘now knowledge’, which thereafter informs their ‘hereafter knowledge’. The bottom layer of the sandwich require pupils to organise and communicate their findings at the end of the sequence so their learning gains coherence. Children should use their understanding of the history to help them decide how to organise and present their ideas most effectively. An example of communication we have previously facilitated is a museum exhibition about Ancient Egypt.
Teaching history through an enquiry model gives a logical, chronological progression throughout the topics and also allows for more in-depth questioning and understanding of each period, continually referring back to the influence / impact on Britain. Through the variation of the ‘communication layer’, will see the impact of the subject in different ways.
Through pupil voice children will be able to talk about the skills and knowledge they have acquired. Children will be engaged in History lessons and want to find out more. Children will complete research independently through projects and homework and to further their own enjoyment about the subject or topic. Work will show that a range of topics is being covered and cross curricular links are made where possible. The school environment will be history rich through child-led displays, resources, vocabulary etc. As historians, children will learn lessons from history to influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future. Assessments and monitoring will show standards in History will be high and will match standards in other subject areas.