Teaching History at Over Hall Community School
'Be supported, feel supported - make a difference'
History lead: Miss Stanley
At Over Hall our high-quality History curriculum helps children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire childrens’ curiosity to know more about the past. Our teaching equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps children 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.
We aim to ensure that all children:
- 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 Over Hall we use our own scheme designed to fit in to context of our area, drawing heavily on our rich local history, and designed to run alongside our English schemes. Each topic revolves around an enquiry question (as seen in the documents below) which then provide children with a focal point for their learning. The learning that each class will undertake is shown on the Key Learning Documents below, which demonstrate the starting points, key knowledge and key vocabulary.
History is taught using the National Curriculum objectives as skills threaded through a curriculum designed through a thematic approach. The past comes to life when children use a variety of sources of information to find clues and evidence and take part in discussions with their peers. Through History, children learn to make comparisons and links between the past and modern times and discover how and why things have changed. They learn about people and events in the past, in Britain and the wider world, and realise that these have influenced our lives today. Children are taught how to investigate and record their findings in interesting and creative ways including writing, art, drama and ICT.
Leadership - as a result of effective leadership staff receive training and support ensuring they have the knowledge, expertise and skills to effectively implement history within their cohort. This is done via Staff Training sessions as well as recommending development courses on the National Curriculum for staff to undertake. Data is generated by Class Teacher judgement and then reported on Insight, where the Subject Lead then collates it and produces a progress table. This is then reported to the Head Teacher and Trustees.
Equal opportunities – All children are given sufficient time to access the history curriculum which has been designed so that all children are able to access and interact with the content. Through the use of adaptive teaching and scaffolds, all children recieve an enjoyable History Curriculum.
Planning - The long-term plan (as seen below) is for children to build upon their knowledge and skills, encompassing effective historical study and enquiry; building knowledge and awareness through exploration of historical sources and chronology; investigating similarities and differences; identifying changes over time; commenting upon the possible causes and effects. Staff members turn the Key Learning Documents into Medium term plans to adequately cover the requirements of the curriculum. During the Spring Term, Year 6 focus on preparation for the SATS, this means that their focus History unit of Charles Darwin, is instead taught through their Science lessons.
Breadth and depth - In all year groups, children are expected to use historically accurate language and terms both orally and written.
Our curriculum begins in Key Stage One, where pupils explore:
- Changes within living memory – family and local life alongside national changes.
- Events beyond living memory that are significant either nationally or globally.
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
- Aspects of life in different periods of time e.g. compare explorers, kings and queens.
- Significant events, people and places in their own locality.
- Some elements of the Key Stage Two curriculum
In Key Stage Two, our pupils explore overviews and in-depth studies of:
- Changes in Britain from the stone Age to the iron Age.
- The Roman Empire and its impact upon Britain.
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
- The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
- Local history.
- Chronology beyond 1066.
- Achievements of early civilisations.
- Ancient Greece.
- Non-European society contrasting to British history.
Please refer to the history progression of skills document, below, for a breakdown of knowledge and skills for year groups.
More detail about the topics that we cover can be found in the Long Term Plan below.
Wider Opportunities- As well as completing work inside the classroom, opportunities for enrichment are frequently sought to engage pupils and support them in applying their historical enquiry skills in real-life settings. Wherever possible, such opportunities also develop and enrich the children’s appreciation and knowledge of their local area.
Such experiences include: Day visits to the Lion Salt Works and the Chester Roman Experience, residential visits to York as well as companies delivering in-house workshops about the Vikings and the Maya.
Teachers carry out assessments of the children as part of everyday teaching, and at the end of a unit of work to check learning. Both types of assessment help teachers to plan the next steps and they also help to monitor children’s progress and provide reports for parents and carers.
On entry to Reception, children take part in a national Baseline Assessment to assess skills in all areas. Reception staff record children’s progress using the Foundation Stage Profile. Teachers and Teaching Assistants observe and assess children whilst they are engaging in a variety of activities. The assessments cover all the areas taught in the Foundation Stage, including the child’s emotional and social adjustment to school. The staff use the information they gather to plan appropriate work for all the children in their care. A copy is given to the parents at the end of the school year, and termly updates are sent out.
Teacher Assessment takes place in all year groups throughout the year across the curriculum. Teacher assessments are guided by the subject specific end points presented on each year group's knowledge organiser - accessible to children, parents/carers and staff. Staff will use the results from our End of Unit assessments (substantive knowledge) as well as the children’s final written answer to their Enquiry question (disciplinary knowledge). Verbal and summary reports that detail current attainment, progress alongside attendance are given at parent consultation evenings which are held in Autumn and Spring Terms. Parents/Carers are also informed if their child is/is not identified as SEND at these consultations. An annual report is written by staff and shared with parents in the Summer Term. Detailing achievement and progress, a statement and target within the core subjects; alongside an indication of achievement and effort in the foundation subjects; and a final comment upon the whole child.
Subject leaders have a firm grasp of performance and delivery as a result of pupil voice, staff voice, work scrutiny and data scrutiny alongside lesson observation.
Through our teaching and learning of history, pupils have a positive view of the subject and are able to enthusiastically communicate their knowledge of historically significant people, places and events. Pupils will feel like historians as they complete successful and progressively more sophisticated historical enquiries through application of their historical skills. enquiries *Please see class or key stage pages for learning intentions for each year group.
The Over Hall Community School History Policy can be found below and under the Policies tab on the school website.