We aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the history of the world in which they live. All Atwood children will leave school with a wide ranging and deep understanding of the past – of places, people and significant events through time. We aim to equip pupils with the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perceptive and judgement.
Pupils will learn about global history alongside that of the British Isles: how nations have changed, how empires have risen and fallen and the legacy they have left behind.
What is our approach to History?
In Key Stage 1 pupils develop their understanding of chronology, starting with things within living memory (Toys in Time, Seaside, Now and Then) and then moving to significant events and people beyond living memory (The Great Fire of London). Children further develop their chronological understanding through a deep dive into the lives of significant individuals (Kings and Queens, Explorers and Voyages).
In Key Stage 2 the History Curriculum divides into two main strands, a study of Britain’s past and a series of studies about Civilizations around the world. When studying British History concepts are taught chronologically starting with Settlers of the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age then exploring the significance and impact of the invaders starting with the Romans, followed by the Saxons and finally the Vikings. In Y6 they will expand their chronological knowledge to significant events beyond 1066 through a study into the History of Crime and Punishment and will debate whether brains or brawn ultimately led to victory for the allies in World War 2.
Units are carefully scheduled so that they build on what has been taught before across History and Geography. For example, in Year 3, children look at the geography of Europe before learning about Ancient Greece. This locational knowledge helps in making connections and deepening understanding.
What does our approach to History look like in the classroom?
Ongoing knowledge acquisition will be a central feature of sessions as children work towards answering the Big Question through completing their end of unit essay. Recognising that working memory is weak, this knowledge will be broken down into small inter-connected chunks that will aid retention. The gradual memorisation over time enables children to think critically, develop their enquiry skills and solve problems. Our approach also recognises the importance of instant feedback – particularly important when knowledge is new.
Memory Workouts provide regular opportunities to assess the knowledge children have retained.
How do we measure success in History?
All units start with a Big Question. This question will be referred to throughout the unit as children acquire the knowledge to be able to then answer end at the end of the unit. The question also incorporates a philosophical dimension encouraging children to think for themselves and demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate evidence and develop their own opinions.