WHY WE STUDY HISTORY AT OUR LADY OF LOURDES
In O.L.O.L we believe that History is about the study of the past. What occurred in the past influences all aspects of our lives and therefore it promotes in our pupils an understanding of the human condition and develops within them a wider perspective in which to view their own society and their world. As they study the past our pupils will learn to appreciate the human achievements and aspirations, which have shaped the present. It will help them to make sense of the world they live in.
At Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, we deliver a high-quality History curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world; know and understand about significant aspects of the history of the wider world like ancient civilisations and empires; changes in living memory and beyond living memory; learn about the lives of significant people of the past; understand the methods of historical enquiry and be able to ask and answer questions. We want children to enjoy and love learning about history by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
Our main aim in teaching History is to help our children develop a sense of identity and to introduce them to what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past. In studying the specified areas of learning our pupils, in both key stages, should acquire certain skills and perspectives that support and develop their knowledge, understanding and interest in this subject. These are:
- an awareness of the nature and diversity of evidence and an ability to interpret it and evaluate it
- an appreciation of change and continuity in historical development
- an understanding of cause and effect
- an ability to enter in some informed appreciation of the predicament or points of view of people in the past – historical empathy and to communicate their awareness and understanding of History in other ways
- an ability to ask and answer questions about the past
- a sense of chronology of time, recognising a framework for events and the idea of sequence
Pupils within both key stages are given the opportunity to undertake studies that focus on historical questions appropriate to their age and development, that will introduce and develop historical skills through using written, visual and oral sources and by participation in visits to historical sites and museums.
The History curriculum is led and overseen by the History Subject Leader, who also co-ordinates a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and reviewing of good practice.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in History, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of termly topics, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. In Key Stage One, the historical skills will focus on the world around them and their living memory of History before moving to events that go beyond living history. This will ensure a firm foundation for the children as they progress through the school. In Key Stage Two, the British History curriculum is set out in chronological order to allow children to reference the previous events in time and to refer to this prior learning year-on-year and within the year.
Our History curriculum aims to excite and engage the children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians. We encourage regular references to chronology and timelines and how topics fit together, as well as a hands-on approach involving artefacts and outreach programmes where appropriate, so as to bring History alive to our young learners. As part of a topic led programme, it allows opportunities for cross curricular links to be made, to ensure the children have many occasions whereby they can apply their knowledge and understanding.
Our process for teaching History throughout school includes:
- Beginning each topic with an action timeline that should include add-ons from previous years teaching/ start with learning the basic timeline so that it is known by the time the History topic begins. By doing this, we are using chronological timelines as a teaching strategy that can help students construct an understanding of historical events over time, even the youngest students. Literature can be used to show, model, and help students develop concepts about time, continuity, and change in social studies as a basis for developing timelines. Also, by asking the children what actions to include for the period of time studied, they are making their own mark on history as the timeline moves through school.
- Use artefacts as a WOW to the start of a topic as well as throughout the topic. This will encourage the children to become history detectives by getting them to think about what the artefact is for, where it is from and how old it is. Artefacts help pupils’ question and understand the past.
- Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. The use of knowledge organisers are to aid teachers in planning their knowledge and skills and to assist students in understanding the expectations by the end of the unit.
Outreach intervention: inviting people into school to talk about; demonstrate or re-enact aspects or periods in history has the effect of bringing history alive to the children and provides them with a more visual view of the topic they are covering. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional history learning outside the classroom.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at Our Lady of Lourdes are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about History, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
History assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each topic where history objectives have been covered; an objective tracking sheet is used to inform leaders of school improvements or skills that need to be further enhanced.
We further measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning – evidenced in the History Subject Leader’s folder and whole school SMSC books.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation staff meetings / SIG meetings, where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’ work.
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
- Marking of written work in books.
- Analysis of data from end of topic assessment tasks.