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History Curriculum Statement

History 1

Intent

At Healey JIN School, we teach History in line with the National Curriculum, incorporating all the skills and knowledge stated in the guidelines at various stages of our children’s learning.  We want our children to be able to apply historical skills not only in their future learning of the subject of History, but also across the wider curriculum, and into their lives outside of school.  Our children need to understand that history is a part of our identity; that it is not something that just ‘happens’ to us, but is brought about by actions and events, often controlled by people and societies. This is especially important in a school like ours, where we have a rich and diverse community setting.

In EYFS and Key Stage 1, our children are taught History with a view to understanding the basics of time, that is that real events occurred and real people were alive before they were.  In Lower Key Stage 2, they develop their understanding of causes and events by looking at the way history can be controlled and formed by the actions of people, both within our civilization, and other cultures.  In Upper Key Stage 2, they will progress to being able to consider how historical events link nationally and internationally, and start to understand that there are different perspectives of the same time periods in history.

Ultimately, we want our children to be able to understand how history applies to them nationally as members of the United Kingdom, and internationally as citizens of the world – but as importantly, also here at Healey.  We want them to know that and understand how history is relevant to them and the way they live their lives.  We want them to enquire of themselves -  How did I get here? How do I fit in with the world in a historic sense? How have the different paths of different people led to the community that we have here at Healey JIN School? – and we want them to be able to have the skills and the historical knowledge to be able to answer such questions.

Implementation

The long term plan for teaching History at Healey JIN School incorporates a variety of methods, both discrete and cross-curricular, with teachers using the children’s prior knowledge to base their short term lesson planning on, and accessing good quality planning resources to develop medium and long term planning.  Healey JIN School is part of The Heritage Schools Programme run by Historic England, and additionally makes use of local facilities and groups, such as Batley Library.

Periods of time are taught mostly in chronological order within Key Stages 1 and Lower 2, other than in Year 1 where the emphasis is on starting to understand chronology within a lifetime, before looking at a topic that has obvious connections to life now.  Upper Key Stage 2 focuses more on the advanced skill of comparison, both of different cultures and over changing time periods.  Whilst chronology is revisited at each topic, some year groups have chosen to teach their topic where there is more relevance to other events, such as Remembrance Day, or having regard to the different cultural backgrounds of our pupils, such as the investigation of the Indus Valley in Year 5.  Each local history topic is introduced at the start of each year, so that teachers can continue to link back to it over the course of the year, thus stressing the link between our children and history’s impact upon them.

Children learn History skills and knowledge through many different methods.  In Key Stage 1, there is an emphasis on visual and hands on learning, through artefacts, museum visits, re-enactments and role plays, as well as immersion in a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction.  History content is often backed up via links to the English curriculum, as it is throughout the school. Lower Key Stage 2 additionally invite guest experts into school where relevant , and continue building up their knowledge of chronology, making links to prior learning and enabling children to begin to view events in a wider context and not always necessarily as independent sections of time.  Upper Key Stage 2 learn through more independent processes, forming their own research enquiries and looking at how societies have changed over time.  They have connections with institutions in the community, which reinforces the idea that history is not just a subject taught in school, but something that affects their daily lives.

Children’s work and knowledge is presented in many different ways across the school, from written to art work, from presentations on multi-media to performances and assemblies for a wider audience.  Chronological skills are further reinforced through a school timeline, which all year groups contribute to throughout the year.

Impact

There are a multitude of reasons for the teaching of History in primary schools, from understanding significant events, to developing curiosity in the world around us, to being able to apply a set of skills associated with historical enquiry; but possibly most importantly, the ability to apply knowledge of the past to enable better understanding of the present, and then to create useful change for the future.  As our children progress through Healey Junior, Infant and Nursery School, they will begin to develop a knowledge, understanding and appreciation for their local area and its place within the wider historical context. They will use the knowledge gained in school, plus be able to take advantage of the links created in the community, to deepen their understanding of the interaction between past events at local, national and international levels.  This will enable them to question, interpret and understand the world around them and their place in it, leading to compassionate, kind and tolerant citizens of the United Kingdom, who have a real love for History and pride in their local area.

History in the Early Years

In the EYFS, teachers use the Development Matters document and the EXAT assessment statements to inform their teaching.  History is covered within the specific area of Understanding the World, although aspects of historical teaching would naturally occur within other strands, for example, Communication and Language.

In Nursery and Reception, the children at Healey Junior, Infant and Nursery School learn about how they grow up, progressing to seeing how time affects place through buildings.  They are thus introduced to the concept of a time previous to now.  Through stories, they are familiarized with the idea of ‘long, long ago’ and historical events still relevant in today’s society, such as The Bonfire Plot.

From discussing the past in relation to themselves and their families, to beginning to understand the impact history has had upon their surroundings and daily lives, the children leave EYFS ready for the next stage of their History journey – curious, questioning and enthusiastic.

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