History Policy

North Ealing Primary School

History Policy

This policy outlines the teaching, organisation and management of history taught and learnt at North Ealing Primary School. The policy is written with consideration to our school commitment to the Rights of the Child and our achievement of becoming a Rights Respecting school.

The History curriculum is a starting point, not a finished product. Nationally, we are in a moment of reflection about how to teach History in our schools. Many of us are pausing to consider our curricula and ask whether and how they need improving. At North Ealing we are doing the same; we aspire to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that provides an honest and balanced education into the lives of people in the past.

History has always been held in high regard at North Ealing Primary School (NEPS), with the school’s own rich history within the context of the local area, a celebrated and inspiring feature of the school. The history curriculum at NEPS makes full use of resources within the immediate and wider area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.

‘A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ – Marcus Garvey

Aims

At North Ealing Primary School History teaching aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop interest, curiosity and coherent knowledge and understanding about the past of Britain and the wider world, including the lives of people who lived in the past
  • develop a chronological framework of significant events and people, and through this, develop a sense of identity and cultural understanding
  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically-grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Implementation

  • In order to achieve this, history will be delivered using a variety of interesting and teaching and learning approaches, including research and investigation, creative and imaginative work as well as the use of primary sources. Our approach to history is organised around enquiry questions at both the unit and lesson level.
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follow the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children to have a greater understanding of the World, covering the following aspects – People and communities, The world, and Technology – including concepts such as past and present, cultures and communities.
  • In Key Stage 1 and 2, we teach history via an enquiring, coherent curriculum to ensure that all children: gain solid knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world; are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement; begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups.
  • Teachers have identified the key Historical concepts, knowledge and skills related to each topic and develop a series of units that build on children developing new skills as they move through the school.
  • 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 time periods and their own lives with a strong emphasis on the community and local area. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.

Inclusion

  • All pupils regardless of ability, race, gender, age, faith, sexual orientation, and disability are given the opportunity to develop their history skills and understanding in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Our lessons are pitched so that all pupils can get an early sense of success. Our enquiries and lessons are designed to gradually build on previous learning and retain new information.
  • Teachers should be aware of the individual and differing needs of all pupils, including those with physical, emotional and learning difficulties as well as those pupils identified (or being monitored) as able and talented.
  • Where possible, activities are modelled, Knowledge organizers used, challenging and differentiated to allow for diverse learning needs and barriers.
  • Where possible, British history is set within the context of Europe and the World. Resources are carefully selected to include a range of perspectives including those of men and women from different racial, national and religious groups.
  • History enables pupils to learn about other cultures promoting respect and positive attitudes towards others; it recognises that the pupil’s own cultural background is an invaluable resource which may give an alternative view of events from the past as well as the present.

Planning

History provision in the EYFS Stage is linked to the seven areas of learning; with particular relevance to ‘knowledge and understanding of the world’.

Planning is currently organised in line with the National Curriculum (2014) guidelines for years 1-6. We use some of the History Associations schemes of work as a basis but have adapted to our local context, wherever possible. We have planned for progression so that as children move through the school they are increasingly challenged and building on knowledge and skills.

Knowledge organizer for topics is being a generator to guide, inform and support learning in history.

Pupils in Key Stage 1 develop an awareness of the past by using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They use a chronological framework to understand where people and events fit within their topic of study. Children think of, ask and answer questions, using other resources to display their knowledge and understanding of key features and events.

Pupils in Key Stage 2 continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history by analysing a range of sources. Start the project/unit with a key question which challenges the children’s thinking and which they will answer at the end of the learning journey. They note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. Children devise and respond to historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference and significance, enriching pupil motivation and engagement.

Resources and visits

  • Resources for teaching history units are kept in a central store and the library contains a good supply of topic books.
  • The internet is an invaluable tool for historical investigations and a list of useful website is available from the history co-coordinator. North Ealing is a member of the Historical Association and Keystage History
  • Children across both key stages are given as many opportunities as possible to visit museums and sites of historical importance. The learning process is based on direct experience and practical activities and takes into account the pupils own interest, experiences and activities.
  • Visitors are also encouraged to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past.
  • Hosting ‘History Days’ allows children to immerse themselves into a particular period of History, for example, during Roman Day children make their own shields, learn Latin army commands and re-enact a Roman battle.

Year Group and Topics of Study

Year One

  • Changes within living memory e.g. home,
  • Where possible, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
  • Significant people who have contributed to national achievements (Rosa Parks, Florence Knightingale, Mary Seacole, Queen Victoria).

Year Two

  • Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally (in own locality) e.g. the Fire of London.
  • The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, e.g Neil Armstrong, Christopher Columbus and Katherine Goble.

Year Three

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, e.g. Stonehenge, Iron Age hill forts, tribal kingdoms, farming, art and culture.
  • The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain, including the Roman Empire and the power of its army, British resistance, Boudicca.

Year Four

  • Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons & Scots, e.g. Anglo-Saxon invasions, settlements and kingdoms, place names and village life.
  • The Viking & Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor, including Viking raids and invasion, resistance by Alfred the Great and Athelstan, first King of England.
  • A brief look at the achievements of the earliest civilizations- an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared – Ancient Egypt.

Year Five

  • Victorians – a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066. A focus on Queen Victoria and her family, technological changes throughout the period.
  • Why is sustainability such an important concept for this century?
  • Early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c AD900. A non-European society which provides contrasts with British History.

Year Six

  • WW2 in London – a local history study. Consider the impact on family life in Britain during the war.
  • Ancient Greece. A study of Greek Life and achievements and their influence on the western world.

Impact

  • Knowledge and understanding of events in the past, Historical interpretation, Historical enquiry and organisation and communication.
  • The large majority of children will achieve age-related expectations in History.
  • As historians children will learn lessons from history to influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future. Children will know more, remember more and understand more about History.
  • Children will understand and use the key skills of chronological understanding,

Assessment

  • Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and based upon teachers judgements of pupil attainment and progress. This is in accordance with our school’s assessment policy
  • Assessment is built into the planning of learning experiences and clearly related to the learning outcomes. Assessment and recording begin in Foundation Stage and continue throughout the school.
  • Children should be observed and assessed as often as possible and at least at the end of each topic. The assessed work may be in the form of written work, teacher question/answer sessions, drama, audiotape, interviews, digital images or oral presentations.
  • Key Questions relating to each topic, draw on the child’s verbal skills; developing pupils’ questioning skills; encouraging description, explanation and opinions.

Role of the Subject Leader

  • The coordinator’s responsibilities are:
    To ensure a high profile of the subject.
  • To ensure a full range of relevant and effective resources are available to enhance and support learning.
  • To model the teaching of history.
  • To ensure the progression of the key knowledge and skills identified within each unit and that these are integral to the programme of study and secure at the end of each age phase.
  • To monitor books and ensure that key knowledge is evidenced in outcomes, alongside and as supported, by SMT.
  • To monitor planning and oversee the teaching of history.
  • To lead further improvement in and development of the subject as informed by effective subject overview.
  • To ensure that the history curriculum has a positive effect on all pupils, including those who are disadvantaged or have low attainment.
  • To ensure that the history curriculum takes account of the school’s context, promotes children’s pride in the local area and provides access to positive role models from the local area to enhance the geography curriculum.
  • To ensure that approaches are informed by and in line with current identified good practice and pedagogy.

See also School policies on:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment and Recordkeeping
  • Inclusion and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
  • SEND

Sources:

  • The National Curriculum 2014
  • History Association – A framework for success

School lead for this policy
D Green
Presented to SMT and Governors
Autumn 2020
The Committee responsible for their policy
Curriculum & Standards
Policy to be approved by the
Headteacher
Policy last reviewed by the Headteacher
08/10/2020
Policy / Document due for review
October 2024

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