It is our vision that our pupils as develop as historians through developing a secure understanding of chronology as well as considering the ‘big questions’ by undertaking historical enquiry. We want our children to develop a secure mental timeline of British and world history to help them understand what has gone before and the challenges of today. We want our pupils to understand that we are all living in history right now: we speak languages that are inherited from the past; we have a complex culture with traditions and religions that have evolved over time; we use inventions and technologies that others before us invented. We want our pupils to understand the different ways the past has been represented and can be interpreted. Most of all, we want them to think critically, ask questions and evaluate evidence, be proud of their heritage and always be inspired to know more.
The history curriculum is coherent and progressive, enabling pupils to deepen their knowledge and understanding of local, regional, national and international history and to gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into a coherent chronological narrative. Pupils will study people, events and situations in history in Key Stages 1 and 2. They will consider the key features of historical periods and investigate contemporary objects, buildings, writings and images to bring their learning alive. Carefully planned and sequenced visits and visitors are a regular part of their history experience throughout their time in school. As the pupils move through the school, they travel forward in time through each of the three subject strands of Local Study, British History, and World History.
The disciplinary knowledge, concepts and skills of what it means to be an historian are taught throughout all key stages with increasing depth and demand. The required substantive history topics to be studied at each key stage are:
- Key Stage 1:
- Changes within living memory: Toys and Games; Holidays
- Events beyond living memory: Great Fire of London; National events as they occur e.g. Queen’s Jubilee in 2022
- Lives of significant individuals: Guy Fawkes, Grace Darling, Captain Cook, Tim Peake, Queen Elizabeth II, Samuel Pepys
- Significant historical events, people and places in our own locality: Holidays then and now; Hartlepool and HMS Trincomalee)
- Key Stage 2:
- Changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age (including Stonehenge and Skara Brae)
- Roman Empire and its impact on Britain (including Hadrian’s Wall, invasion and Boudica’s resistance)
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots (including settlements and kingdoms: place names and village life, and Anglo-Saxon art and culture)
- Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for England (including Viking raids and invasion, Alfred the Great)
- Local history study: Blackhall’s Mining Heritage; Schools though time
- Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066: Schools through time; Children in World War II; Children’s Changing Lives; Monarchs and Power
- Achievements of the earliest civilizations: Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
- 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: Mayan civilization c. AD 900
At Early Years Foundation Stage, children begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history as well as exploring images from the past, toys and games and stories from the past. Older relatives and members of the community share recollections and memories with pupils to help them make sense of the passing of time.
There are several ‘big ideas’ of history which run through our history curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6: our coastal heritage and maritime history; our mining heritage and the national importance of the locality in the past; British Values including what it means to be a citizen in different periods of time and the place of our monarchy; and the lives of children through history.
Our particular location in a coastal, former mining community underpins our history curriculum. Inspirational, significant, historical figures and themes from our local area (including the proud maritime history of nearby Hartlepool, the window on the world provided by local navigator Captain James Cook and the heroism of Seahouses’ Grace Darling) are used to illuminate history and raise aspiration.
Enquiry questions are at the heart of history at all key stages from Early Years Foundation Stage to KS2. They enable pupils to build on previous learning and deepen and broaden their understanding through increasingly sophisticated and complex systematic and thematic enquiries. They are used for units of work at all key stages.
History in the EYFS
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of History through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. This aspect is about how children find out about past and present events in their own lives, their families and other people they know. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of change over time and are given opportunities to differentiate between past and present by observing routines throughout the day, growing plants, observing the passing of seasons and time and looking at photographs of their life and of others. Practitioners encourage investigative behaviour and raise questions such as, ‘What do you think?’, ‘Tell me more about?’, ‘What will happen if..?’, ‘What else could we try?’, ‘What could it be used for?’ and ‘How might it work?’ Use of language relating to time is used in daily routines and conversations with children for example, ‘yesterday’, ‘old’, ‘past’, ‘now’ and ‘then’.
What does History look like in the EYFS?
History in KS1 & KS2
Our History curriculum is designed:
- to enable our children to become independent, respectful and successful adults in terms of being able to find employment in the future and to be moral citizens
- to provide a relevant, progressive and well-structured History curriculum which enables children to develop and master a broad knowledge and wide range of skills
Our History curriculum is structured providing for each key stage and year group:
- A clear list of end points
- Progressive knowledge and skills which will shape children as historians
- A clear list of vocabulary both appropriate to History and progressive through the key stages
- Provide a variety of enrichment opportunities including visitors into school, local area visits and visits to different places
Documents relating to our History curriculum can be found below:
Documents outlining what will be covered in each year group can be found below: