"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."
History fires pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. In history, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they are encouraged to research, sift through evidence, and engage in active discussion - skills that will prepare them for adult life. At Woodstock CE Primary School, we aim to bring history to life by immersing children in realistic experiences both in school and on exciting educational visits linked to our topic areas. Children have a real understanding of their place in history and concepts of when events happened in relation to each other are reinforced. Our History curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity about the past through a topic-based approach and hands on experience wherever possible.
We are determined that alongside historical knowledge there will be a high-focus on the development of specific historical skills. The teaching of history is intended to equip pupils to ask pertinent questions about the past, analyse evidence, think critically, appreciate different perspectives and develop informed judgements. We believe our pupils should be taught to understand how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. In addition, our bespoke curriculum provides opportunities for children to explore their own identity, for example, through local history topics. History at Woodstock Primary covers the knowledge and skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring topics. A topic-based approach is used to deliver the content within a meaningful context and wherever possible cross curricular links are exploited, particularly links with geography, British values, Learning Powers and SMSC. History is taught within each phase following a two-year rolling programme. Medium term plans ensure coverage of both the required knowledge and the subject specific skills. Individual sessions are planned to inspire, engage and challenge pupils in response to their needs. Children are given a wide variety of experiences both in the classroom and out – we actively encourage school visits and visitors into school to enable the children to gain first hand experiences to support their learning. One element in the development of the pupils’ communication skills is for opportunities for pupils to apply their writing skills within a context and linked to the theme being studied. Pupils are encouraged to think like historians and develop their skills including historical enquiry. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s other skills such as understanding of chronology, interpretations of evidence, changes within a time and across time periods and cause and consequence.
Our History curriculum is intended to help pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. We deliberately foster strong links with our PHSE curriculum and British Values. For example, studying the topic Rule Britannia in Years 5 & 6 is an opportunity for children to develop an understanding of parliament and laws and justice – children visit the Houses of Parliament to bring their learning to life.