Subject Champion for History - Jeanette Ashby
History Intent Statement
At Millfield Primary School we believe our History curriculum should excite and inspire curiosity about the past. We believe that a well-rounded History curriculum will allow children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, and during their time at Millfield they will develop their appreciation of how they fit into this broad map of the past. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, children will understand how the past influences the present. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
At Millfield Primary School we aim to build a history curriculum which enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas including promoting their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We have carefully designed our History curriculum with a ‘big history’ approach so that children gain knowledge and skills as they progress through the school. In addition to this, we recognise the important role that History plays in preparing our children with skills that they can use for later life, raising their aspirations, understand how to be a good and responsible citizen, understanding change and societal development and a context in which to understand themselves and others. This is extremely important for children at Millfield Primary in allowing them to broaden their horizons and access to a much wider world.
We seek to deepen children’s historical understanding by promoting a ‘big history’ approach to our teaching and learning by linking units of work: to the bigger picture of the past; it’s chronological context; its bigger geographical context; making comparisons across and between different times. We also ensure that through this approach children are provided with opportunities to reflect on how they are developing their big picture and to make links between British, local and world history by combining overview and in depth studies of historical periods, people and events.
We achieve this through our careful planning using the National Curriculum, our progression grid, subject specific content and appropriate connections to other curriculum areas. Units of work will be carefully sequenced so prior knowledge and skills are built upon from previous year groups/units and teachers will make reference to these in their delivery of lessons. We aim to provide children at Millfield with real life experiences and learn about history in an active and creative way, therefore visitors and educational visits will form a vital part of our curriculum.
To teach historical knowledge, skills (eg historical enquiry) and key concepts (eg cause and consequence) we will use a range of sources and artefacts to ignite their curiosity and units will be enhanced with a wow activity* to launch the unit. When planning, teachers will seek to make links with prior units taught - this will be achieved by: chronologically seeing where the new learning fits into what they have already learned; through identifying trends eg movement of people; and through understanding historical concepts such as continuity and change, similarity and difference etc and seek to use these concepts to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions etc. Chronological knowledge and understanding is vital to gain a wider sense of our pupils time and place in history and this will be emphasised through Millfield’s ‘big picture’ approach: teachers will seek to specifically plan for and reinforce chronology; reference made to timelines in teaching and learning activities (class timeline displayed); use of appropriate language of chronology that is developmental (see progression document).
When planning and teaching history, teachers will ensure that all children have equal access to the curriculum by implementing the following: adhering to pupil support plans, structured questioning, adapting resources and using a variety of teaching strategies to ensure engagement and address differing learning styles.
*This may be linked with geography or solely focused on geography as the two subjects are closely entwined due to our learning theme approach.