History is a required subject of the National Curriculum. Through learning about people, events and change over time, children will develop an awareness of the past.
During their primary school years, children should develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of local, British and world history. Historical study is a process of enquiry. Using the evidence available to us, we can draw conclusions about what life was like in the past and so gain a better understanding of the world today.
At Heytesbury School, our intent in history is to inspire the children’s curiosity about the past and to understand how it has influenced the present. We strive to give the children a solid foundation and broad overview in some of the most important periods, events and themes in British and world history.
We wish to provide the children with opportunities to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement whilst developing the confidence to form their own opinions, whilst understanding that others may have views different to their own.
Through our history curriculum, we endeavour to teach children to understand the complexities of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies, and relationships between different groups. This will contribute to the broadening of children’s horizons and allow them to challenge preconceived ideas thus developing key life skills which will support the next stage of education and beyond.
Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of the world around them including some similarities and differences between things in the past and now.
In history in Key Stage 1, children will be taught about:
- changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
- events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
- the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
In Key Stage 2, children will be taught about:
- changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
- The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
- The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England
- a local history study
- a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
- The achievements of the earliest civilizations - an overview of where and when the first civilisations appeared and a depth study of Ancient Egypt.
- Ancient Greece - a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – The Maya.
In EYFS children are expected to show knowledge of the past and present, people and culture. The children have opportunities to participate in adult-led and child initiated structured play activities to develop their historical understanding. They also have first-hand experiences including school trips and visitors to enhance their learning within this specific area. In addition, listening to a broad range of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster an understanding of our culturally and socially diverse world. Staff also ensure that meaningful cross-curricular links are made with specific areas of learning eg Language & Literacy
Key Stage One & Two
History is taught through a half-termly topic approach which operates on a rolling programme. The topics have been mapped to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for history, with links made to local history where possible. Within our history curriculum, we place an emphasis on vocabulary development so that children may confidently articulate their growing knowledge and understanding. This is balanced with the development of skill progression across the school.
The children’s history learning is supported through a variety of teaching approaches as well as through different experiences and activities. These include, for example:
- the use of primary/secondary sources of information eg artefacts, photos & images, written accounts
- drama and role play
- story telling
- research, including online research
Recording children's work
Children have humanities books in KS1/2 in which they record their learning.
The impact of our history curriculum is to ensure that the children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to history, but also develop skills which will equip them to progress from their start points and so be able to access further learning within primary school and beyond.
All children will have acquired:
- a wider variety of skills linked to historical knowledge and understanding;
- a richer vocabulary which will enable them to articulate their understanding of taught knowledge and concepts;
- a curiosity about the past with an understanding of some key periods, events and people in British history;
- life skills such as questioning, weighing evidence and developing perspective which will enable the children to continue to broaden their horizons.