The aim of history teaching at St. Patrick’s is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving. Our history curriculum is designed to allow each pupil to:
So that each pupil:
- Can confidently investigate primary and secondary sources to provide rich learning opportunities
- Knows and understands how the British system of democratic government has developed
- Knows about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to National and International achievements.
- Is provided with a broad and balanced education whatever their ability.
- Understands that Britain’s rich cultural heritage can be further enriched by the multi-cultural British society of today.
- Has access to the full range of activities involved in learning history. Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom, for example, a visit to an archaeological dig, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.
- Makes progress in history as we set suitable learning opportunities that respond to each child’s different needs.
In History, we aim to provide an opportunity to develop interests and overcome barriers through our ‘Curriculum Drivers’. These drivers are used to underpin the direction and development of our curriculum and to ensure that History is enriched and personalised in order to meet the needs, interests and ambitions of our children and families. We want our children to be:
- Aware of their ‘community’, giving opportunities to understand how their community and the local environment of Wednesfield has changed over time.
- Children will work together to share findings using oracy, literacy and mathematics. Children will discuss historical perspective using subject specific language to ‘communicate’ their understanding, views and opinions of the subject
- Avid learners will actively gain knowledge of the ‘wider world’ beyond their own community and how it has changed over time
- Children will use their natural curiosity and engage in rich experiences that provide ‘possibilities’ to use their imagination, become increasingly ambitious, think critically and solve problems
- Children will look at different lifestyles through a historical perspective and how the physical and mental well-being of the inhabitants has changed throughout history
History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each key stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’ about information they are given.
We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely-different abilities in history and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
- Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- Setting tasks of increasing difficulty. Not all children complete all tasks;
- Grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks for each ability group;
- Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child;
- Using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.
Through the teaching of the History curriculum, pupils at St Patrick’s Catholic School are enabled to:
- Know and understand history as a chronological narrative, from the earliest times.
- Understand how people’s lives were shaped and how Britain was influenced by the wider world
- Understand abstract historical terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, and ‘peasantry’
- Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, understand how life changed through different periods of time and how new technologies affected everyday life.
- Make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends,
- Frame historically-valid questions to lead their own learning
- Create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- Understand the methods of historical enquiry