“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.”
The outcome of a rich, rigorous and connected experience of learning in history will be a knowledge rich historian who can:
• Ask pertinent historical questions
• Assess and critically evaluate potential answers to those questions
• Make reasoned judgements on the evidence
• Consider why people in the past behaved the way they did and what the consequences of their actions were
• Appreciate that different historical perspectives and interpretations exist
• Categorise different historical events and periods into a chronological time frame
• Appreciate how the past has shaped the present and to use their knowledge and skills to predict how the present may shape the future.
Mostly we want our children to find it pleasurable to learn history for its own sake. We recognise that children mentally blossom at varying ages and if they have positive associations with the subject they will make their own choices to further their knowledge through reading, internet research, personal projects, travel, board games and a host of other history related activities.
Progression means working in more depth with existing skills and learning new skills and vocabulary. For example in Year 1 sources might be seen as an absolute truth but by year 6, children should see them as a viewpoint with bias.
As the children the mature they will revisit ‘big questions’, they have answered in the past and overlay on the their previous understanding nuances which they may not have previously grasped at a younger age.
Revisiting big questions may require the children to look at a situation from another point of view. (Give example: e.g. British as colonists (New World) and the colonised (Romans).
Expansion of Vocabulary.
Usage of historical vocabulary is a key part of learning and it will atrophy if it is not revisited and built upon. An example of such vocabulary building can be seen in human migration. In early year groups, children may learn about conquerors, as they progress through the curriculum they will add terms such as ‘colonists’, ‘migrants’, ‘evacuee’ and ‘settlers’ to their lexicon, understanding the shades of difference between these terms.
Where appropriate, elements of previous topics can be compared to the topic currently under study. This helps to embed knowledge into the pupils’ long term memory. It also helps in allowing the children to build a chronological framework so they are better able to place people and events in time and look for connections between them.
Ensuring progression in teaching.
All history topics will be taught with the help of a knowledge organiser which will set out the big questions, key vocabulary and (by implication) skills that most children are required to have grasped by the end of the sequence of learning. Teachers will use knowledge organisers from previous and future year groups to ensure that their planning includes the requisite progression of concepts, skills and vocabulary.