The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
At Hook Junior School, we teach to the National Curriculum expectations, but also use history as a way for the children to better understand the society and culture they live in by seeing how it has evolved and developed into the rich and diverse place it is today while contrasting and comparing this with other historical societies.
We want children to appreciate that history is an interdisciplinary subject that both builds up and is strengthened by understanding of other subjects, especially geography, literacy and the arts.
History is not just about knowing and retaining facts and dates but about the development of key life skills such as identifying bias, drawing balanced conclusions from either limited or conflicting information and being able to use evidence in order to support or refute claims. We want all children to achieve within history and to develop these skills which are essential to navigating and thriving in their lives.
History is taught with a focus on building a foundation of historical knowledge and understanding about a certain time period, event or topic and then using this to develop the historical skills. These include chronological understanding where links are made to prior learning, continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance as well as the broader skill of historical enquiry.
History teaching within the school is based on the Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS) six step approach to historical enquiry. Each history unit follows this progression with each step consisting of anywhere from one to three lessons, depending on the topic. This sets out the process of gathering historical information and then using and applying it in order to develop the historical skills.
The topics covered throughout the school are chosen to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum material and to best facilitate the development of the historical skills. In Year 3 and 4 the children build an overview of the history of Britain from the Neolithic up to the Viking Raids on Saxon Britain (the narrative of British history is continued from 1066 onwards at KS3). Years 5 and 6 study wider aspects of world history and a thematic modern British study to give a broader view of Britain’s place within world history and the opportunity to compare and contrast different historical societies and major social, cultural and political developments in human history.
The use of resources, including artefacts, images and written material, play a crucial role in both inspiring children about the topics being studied and deepening understanding. At Hook Junior School, these are regularly used within all history units to support the teaching and learning.
As an interconnected subject, history is often used to drive learning in a number of other subjects such as in reading through a book set at a certain time period or in art through the choice of outcome or artistic style.
Please see the PDFs below which outline the skills, knowledge and understanding within history for each individual year group.
History Curriculum Impact
Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given both throughout the lesson and when reviewing books. Where appropriate, next steps and misconceptions will be addressed within books, although often this will be built into the next lesson so children have the opportunity to practice and apply the skills. Staff constantly use their assessment to inform planning to enable all children to progress. Year teams will work together weekly to agree the next steps for children by discussing learning and reviewing the outcomes in books.
At the end of each term, a summative teacher assessment is made and data is analysed to also support with planning and intervention. The use of an end of unit application task is used help teacher make this assessment and the children’s knowledge, understanding and specific historical skills focused on during that unit are considered.
The teaching of history is also monitored regularly, at least termly, through the data, book and planning monitoring or observations. This information is used to identify strengths and areas for development.