History Planning Statement November 2021
At Rickmansworth Park School, we recognise the importance of Article 29 and its relevance to the History Curriculum we provide.
Article 29 states:
Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for…their own and other cultures…
History is a valued part of the curriculum which helps our children understand their own lives by exploring the past, enabling them to make sense of the world in which they live. History is not just about learning dates and facts; it is about developing an enquiring mind so that they are able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and reach their own conclusions. Lessons are planned to excite the children’s interest about the past. School trips and agencies from outside are used, for example, Portals from the Past deliver workshops to further fuel enthusiasm for the subject. To make the children’s learning more meaningful and relevant, the history curriculum at Rickmansworth Park draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their own locality. Where possible, History is linked to Geography and other foundation subjects to ensure that it is taught in a meaningful way.
History topics are taught in chronological order across the school and teachers use the National Curriculum for guidance. At the beginning of each new History topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of the chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the timing of previous topics (including those from previous years).
The planning itself takes a variety of formats and draws on teacher’s own plans, published plans from the internet, for example, Twinkl, TES, PlanBee and History Rocks. To ensure the key knowledge and skills that the children need to acquire and develop in this subject, teachers refer to the Progression of Skills document.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in Reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World’ by the end of the academic year. Teachers plan early experiences which introduce the concept of time and change.
What makes our curriculum exceptional?
1. It is underpinned by aims, values & purpose.
e.g. Article 29 UN Convention of Rights of the Child: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
2. It develops the whole person – knowledge, skills, understanding & attitudes.
Knowledge – children are introduced to chronology and gain an understanding of time and where they are in relation to other periods of history. They learn about different periods of history
Skills – children are taught to be real ‘historians’ by following lines of enquiry so they are able to make deductions about the past, e.g. looking at artefacts, research skills
Understanding and Attitudes – children gain an understanding of how history has impacted on and shaped modern day life.
3. It is broad and balanced.
All aspects of the National Curriculum are covered and throughout the school the topics are taught in chronological order.
Throughout the Key stages, children:
-will gain historical knowledge of the areas studied
-historical skills (researching and communicating, understanding change, continuity, causation, consequence, similarity, differences and significance)
To make the children’s learning meaningful and relevant, some year groups complete a local history study
4. There is clear progression in subject knowledge and skills.
Teachers use progression of skills document when planning their lessons.
There is a balance between historical knowledge, concepts and enquiry.
5. It is filled with rich first-hand experiences.
Staff work incredibly hard to enrich the History curriculum, e.g.,
Y2 look at Samuel Pepys’ diary and photos of the Crimean War
Y3 handle Stone Age and Roman artefacts
Y6 look at the Commonwealth War Grave website to learn about the names on the local war memorial
6. It is flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests.
History is taught in a way to interest the children, e.g. children make deductions from primary sources (letters, diaries, handle artefacts). They go on trips, Children learn songs related to their topic. Some topics are taught via a historical enquiry, e.g. ancient Greeks.
7. It has an eye on the future and the needs of future citizens.
Children have an understanding of where they come from and what challenges people have faced in the past. They are taught how the past has shaped today, e.g. Olympic Games, Roman influences, and Saxon names. Also when talking about Remembrance Sunday, children recognise how British soldiers changed history to impact on their lives.
Children are taught the History of Digital Music.
8. It encourages the use of environments and expertise beyond the classroom.
Y1 walk along the Ebury Way
Y3 visit the Roman town of Verulamium (St Albans).
Y4 go on a virtual tour of the Egyptian rooms at the British Museum. They are also planning to visit the local museum.
Y6 go on a virtual tour of the Benin Gallery at the British Museum
Portals to the Past come into school to deliver Stone Age and Anglo Saxon workshops to the relevant year groups.
Y5 and 6 visit Bletchley Park
9. It makes meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum.
Links are frequently made with other areas of the curriculum, e.g.
EYFS talk about change over time when melting ice cubes in science
In Art, Y5 look at Anglo Saxon brooches and create their own designs.
In Literacy, Y3 children write adverts to persuade people to live at Skara Brae
In Art, Y4 make their own Death Masks when studying ancient Egypt
10. It has a local, national and global dimension.
History from different parts of the world are taught (ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Benin) as well as British history. Some year groups study an area of local history.
11. It is supported by high quality Subject Leader CPD.
The History lead consulted the Hertfordshire advisor before changing the units of work taught at RPS.
She also attended a course on assessment and progression and is continually keeping abreast of new developments within the subject.
12. SMSC is embedded within the curriculum.
(See SMS Subject Statement)
Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural Links – History
History supports spiritual development by helping children develop a sense of curiosity and the mystery of how and why events in the past happened and raises questions as to what could have happened if events had had different results. Artefacts are used to give pupils a sense of the past and aid pupils in understanding the people who produced and used these objects. Pupils are encouraged to explore the role played by important individuals, for good or ill, in the shaping of the world we live in. Pupils also reflect upon different interpretations of the past and how these interpretations have been arrived at.
History supports moral development by asking children to consider and comment on moral questions and dilemmas. Events and beliefs in the past will often be at odds with what we would consider unacceptable today (and were to some people in the past also) Pupils will be encouraged to show compassion for people facing dilemmas and to empathise with decisions which people in the past made and the reasoning behind these decisions. Notions of right and wrong are explored in connection with events from the past, linking with the value of justice.
History supports social development by exploring the similarities and contrasts between past and present societies and be made aware of how, in the main, we are very fortunate to live in ‘the modern world’ which links with the value of thankfulness. They will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ’British’ culture. Pupils will also be encouraged to build up their own social development through collaborative and team working activities.
History supports cultural development by encouraging children to gain an understanding of and empathise with, people from different cultural backgrounds. They will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ’British’ culture. Pupils develop a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, European and world history.