At Altofts Junior School, our history curriculum develops an understanding of the past and how history will shape the future. High quality lessons inspires pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips pupils to: think critically; enhance the ability to weigh evidence and generate arguments; develop chronological understanding; and develop a sense of perspective. We want pupils to be passionate about History and our curriculum incorporates topics which foster awe and wonder. Where possible, links are made across subjects and placed into context.
Learning objectives draw knowledge and skills from the National Curriculum, placing a strong focus on historical vocabulary and abstract terms so pupils can talk accurately and confidently about the subject. Key technical vocabulary is identified for each unit, allowing children to build a rich bank of historical language.
Our History themes focus on the development of three common strands: Conflict (how does conflict read to success?), civilisation (does the past impact on the way we live in the present?) and beliefs (do beliefs influence behaviours?). These drivers are revisited within each topic and links are explicitly made between the topics.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Key knowledge, skills and historical vocabulary are identified for each topic and this is built upon progressively. Children learn the history of Britain in a chronological order, as well as studying ancient civilisations and local history. Children start by learning about prehistoric Britain in Year 3, Roman Britain in Year 4, the Anglo-Saxon and Viking invasion in Year 5 and concluding with British history beyond 1066, focussing on World War 1 and World War 2 in Year 6. This study is complemented with a local history unit linked with a local area geography unit in Year 6, the study of the ancient civilisations of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Mayans in Year 3 and 4 and learning about the ‘Space Race’ in Year 5. Children express their learning in a variety of ways including writing, discussion, drama and art.
Children begin each topic with a ‘hook’ lesson to ignite their interest. Within the history units, we try and provide the children with visits and visitors to allow their knowledge and skills to be extended. These visit and visitors are sometimes used to hook the children into their topic, during the topic to develop knowledge or at the end of the theme apply their knowledge. The topics children study offer scope to also use a variety of historical resources which are held within school or accessed from local historical providers. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners.
The impact of the History curriculum is seen in a variety of ways. This includes discussions with pupils and staff, scrutiny of History books and planning documents and lesson observations.
Outcomes in both History and English books are starting to show a depth of learning and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and vocabulary relating to each topic.
The knowledge being taught for each topic has been reduced to allow for children to retain the key ‘sticky knowledge’ and have a deeper understanding. The history books also reflect the variety of tasks that are being used to teach this knowledge and are starting to make more use of photos to evidence the learning taking place.
Pupil conversations show that children are becoming more confident to talk about this History they have learnt.
Knowledge Plans Year 3
Knowledge Plans Year 4
Knowledge Plans Year 5
Year 6 Knowledge Plans