At Greenlands Primary School all children, including those who are disadvantaged and children who have SEND learn whole school and subject specific concepts through studying different periods of history
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
- Marcus Garvey
Why History Is Important
History is the study of people in the past and how their actions have influenced our lives today. History can help children to make sense of the world in which they live and can help them to develop a sense of identity. Our aim is that the children should understand that the society, in which we live, has been shaped by developments in the past. They will learn about the role of individuals, events and movements that have played in moulding modern society. By studying historical source material, the children will be encouraged to ask questions, deduce information and solve problems through an investigative approach.
National Curriculum– Purpose of Study
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should 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.
What History Looks Like At Greenlands Primary School
The teaching of History at Greenlands Primary School is underpinned by the National Curriculum and the Greenlands Knowledge and Skills Progression Document. Knowledge and Skills have been arranged within subject specific themes. Vocabulary for each topic is identified and explicitly taught to address the recognised ‘word gap’ that exists for many of the children that attend Greenlands Primary School.
Each historical topic begins with a ‘hook’ to engage the children and a key question which provides the focus for the topic and gives the topic purpose. Children will share their learning for both history topics at the Greenlands’ Museum which takes place at the end of spring term 2. The continued revision of whole school concepts and subject specific themes, alongside regular revisiting of previous learning will enable children to know more and remember more.
All historical lessons/activities are designed and planned to include all children through a range of approaches. Lessons are planned to facilitate the best possible outcome for all children within the class.
Concepts and themes Running Through History
- Time, change, chronology – to create a sense of period and time, the sequence of when things happened, what changed and what continued, what we might see as progress.
- Reasons and results – how can we explain why things happen in history, how did people make a difference to what happened? What followed as a result of these?
- Interpretations – how and why does the way that history is produced differ? Do we all understand the past in exactly the same way? How do we show what the past was like?
- Historical evidence – What do we use to find out about the past? How can we use this material safely to produce the best history we can? What are the problems when using historical sources?
- Significance – how do we choose what is most important in history as we cannot use everything?
- Historical Enquiry
- Chronological Understanding
- Historical Knowledge
- Interpretations of History
- Organisation and Communication
Whole School Concepts
- Change – major events
- Power – Influential people / events
- Diversity – equality, inequality, discrimination
- Comparison -cause and effect, people, places, events
- Significance – people, events, places
Whole school overview
Children in the reception class show that they are historians by showing awareness of time in the day, commenting on, and noticing what happens in each season, being able to narrate their daily routines/weekly activities, use past tense with increasing accuracy, sequence a life cycle/ stages of growth for a plant or animal and be able to compare and say what is the same/different about something.
During the topic ‘Dinosaur Detectives’ children will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of dinosaurs and become Palaeontologists. Through a mixture of high quality fiction and non-fiction texts children will be encouraged to answer ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions, explain own knowledge and understanding, and ask appropriate questions so that they can answer the question ‘What can I tell you about dinosaurs?’
Key Stage 1
Children begin their history learning by investigating a topic within living memory. They start with something that is real to them - their family. They apply the skills and knowledge that they have learned in the reception classroom and use these to investigate and answer the question ‘Who am I?’ This gives children the opportunity to: investigate changes and events in their lives and compare them with those of other children, identify significant people within their family, and think about powerful events that have taken place in their lives e.g. starting school, moving from the reception class to the year 1 class.
Children then move on to investigate an event beyond living memory - The Great Fire of London. This gives children the opportunity to expand their chronological understanding and begin to investigate cause and effect whilst answering the question ‘Was the Great Fire of London an accident? How do you know?’
Children begin their history learning by investigating the technological revolution of toys. By exploring the question ‘has technology made toys more fun?’ children have the opportunity to: compare toys from the past to toys of today, identify the similarities and differences in ways of life in different periods of time, examine the significance of the invention of technology, and continue to expand their understanding of cause and effect by exploring the effect that technology has had on life today.
Key Stage 2
Children continue to build on the knowledge and skills acquired in KS1 and apply these when investigate the changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age. They research this period of history using books and the internet, comparing the lives of people in this period of history with their own, and answer the question ‘Could you have survived in Stone aged Britain?’
Children then move on to the Roman era and answer the question ‘Why did the Roman’s invade Britain’. During this topic children will deepen their understanding of the concept of power started in year 2 and they will examine the changes that happened during this period considering significant people, places and events, and the effects these had on Britain.
Children explore the achievements of the earliest civilisations - the Anglo Saxons, and then investigate a non-European society that provides contrast with British history - the Vikings. Children build upon their understanding from the Romans in year 3 and use evidence to build up a picture of significant people and past events. Children will continue to deepen their understanding of cause and effect from KS1 and year 3, to offer reasonable explanations for what happened during these periods of time to enable them to answer the questions: ‘Could you have been an Anglo Saxon Leader?’ and ‘Vikings, forward thinking or barbaric dictators?’ During these topics children will begin to investigate equality, inequality, and discrimination whilst continuing to expand their understanding of power and change.
Children expand their historical understanding further by going back in time to ancient civilisations – The Ancient Greeks and the Mayan civilization. Children will apply, and deepen their comparison skills and their understanding of Monarchy from year 2 by looking closely at these periods of time. They will develop a greater understanding of cause and effect as they research information to answer the questions ‘How did the Ancient Greeks influenced modern society?’ and ‘What impact did Mayan’s have on our world?’.
Children deepen their historical understanding of the Victorian period. This in-depth study will enable children to explore cause and effect in detail, using evidence to support and illustrate their explanation and answer the question ‘Why did so many people leave the countryside and move to the towns in Victorian times?’
Children then move on to a local history study focusing on World War Two. During this topic children will expand and apply all previous learning around the concepts of significance, power, diversity, comparison and change, by answering the question ‘How crucial were the concepts of power, change and diversity within World War 2?’