At North Crescent we believe History is important because it helps pupils to understand and interpret the past, and therefore, the present. Pupils are able to develop a deeper cross-cultural awareness and understanding of their own and others’ heritage, through looking at evidence and asking and answering questions.
In history as a school, we can analyse successes and failures, which, in turn, teaches us to learn from our mistakes, whilst also engaging pupils’ creative and critical thinking about change (both locally and globally) and the implications for the future.
By the end of childrens' primary education it is our aim that each individual can see the ‘big picture’ of the historical narrative, enabling them to make connections between different time periods, the processes involved and the impact and legacy of change.
Our school follows Dimensions, which is a tailored curriculum, encompassing integrated lessons and themes. History is taught through a combination of subject knowledge, historical skills, enquiry and fieldwork with learning taking place both inside and outside of the classroom.
The curriculum is developed to be able to teach children historical vocabulary, through a spiral approach of learning, from Explorers up to Navigators 6.
History is taught through thematic units:
Perspectives and Interpretation- Historical interpretation is the process by which an explanation of past events is constructed. Interpretation is based on primary and secondary historical sources. Evidence, contexts and points of view all form the basis of historical interpretation. Looking at historical perspective means understanding the social, cultural, intellectual, and emotional settings that shaped people's lives and actions in the past.
Cause and Consequence- In historical terms, every event has a cause, and is itself the cause of subsequent events, which may therefore be considered its effect(s), or consequences. Recognising the relationship between the two is vital to deeper historical understanding and causal explanation should be a primary feature in history teaching and learning at all stages within the school curriculum.
Continuity and Change- Historical change is an all-encompassing term used to describe the changing of events over the course of time. Historical change happens constantly and includes both major events and seemingly insignificant events. Historical change takes place through the process of cause and consequence. There are sometimes several causes that continuity refers to things that stay the same, relatively unchanged, over time.
Historical vocabulary- Historical vocabulary can be placed into various categories:- language related to the passing of time e.g. yesterday; language related to the measuring of time e.g. decade; historical roles e.g. monarch; concepts and more abstract terms e.g. democracy. Some of the more abstract terms benefit from being taught through concrete and practical examples to help children to fully understand them. They should then be able to interpret historical language within contexts e.g. questions, concepts.
Similarities and Differences- Comparison is a tool used by historians to analyse historical events, societal features, and values and beliefs within and across different time periods in order to discover things of historical importance or interest e.g. common causes, stages of development or to demonstrate a larger historical pattern. By looking for similarities and differences, children are then able to identify, analyse and evaluate findings, giving reasons for their conclusions.
Chronology- Understanding chronology is vital in helping children position their learning within a linear narrative. It involves sequencing, placing and connecting periods of history as part of a framework which should reinforce and increase their depth of knowledge and understanding.
Additionally, Evidence is a thread that runs throughout the history curriculum. Evidence can take various forms, including printed sources e.g. documents; physical evidence e.g. artefacts; oral accounts and testimony. Primary sources relate to original, first-hand evidence while secondary sources provide second-hand information that comes from the description, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of primary evidence.
At North Crescent pupil voice shows that children are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary. Pupils demonstrate that they know more and can remember more by recalling their learning over time.
Work in books highlights that history is taught at an age appropriate standard across each year group with opportunities planned in for pupils working at greater depth, such as extended writing pieces. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence.