At Byron, we aim to ensure we are delivering a wide history curriculum with the opportunities for children to grow as historians and to ultimately develop a love of critical and analytical thinking. Our children will have the opportunity to develop chronology and chronological thinking throughout their education by following a progressive and immersive history curriculum. Every child is given the opportunity to develop their skills as historians and historical language that is appropriate to themselves and to consolidate learning from previous years through an enquiry based approach to learning. We aim to provide our children with exciting and engaging opportunities for learning through trips, engagement days and visits from famous historical figures.
Here at Byron, we aim to deliver a language rich curriculum from EYFS to Year 6. We begin in Nursery by focusing on the language elements of the history curriculum, vocabulary and understanding chronology. From here, we build through the years gathering and using more in depth historical vocabulary. We also provide children with a progressive list of historical vocabulary and a subject specific word bank for each history topic covered in each year group -where word banks are appropriate. We aim to make sure that, across the history curriculum, we are providing children with the opportunity to analyse historical sources and provide opportunities for them to revisit and retain new key vocabulary. We expose our children to relevant historical literature (including both fictional and nonfiction texts) through the use of our well-resourced school library. Additionally, we provide as many opportunities in our history lessons for dialogic debate where the children can use their newly acquired vocabulary to discuss historical events and people. We encourage and teach the children to become independent thinkers and to value and respect the opinions of others throughout dialogic debate in history.
To inspire and engage our children we provide opportunities for enrichment both in and out of school. We invite visitors and professional actors to visit the school and immerse our children in the history as well as visiting as many historical sites as possible that are relevant within our topics. We promote and encourage children to be responsible for drawing their own historical conclusions by using a range of sources and teaching them how to interpret these. We have access to the ‘Now Press Play’ scheme so that in addition to visitors and trips the children have a further immersive role-play experience within their topics.
We have devised a progressive curriculum so that skills are refined and built on each year. Our staff have access to the skills from EYFS – Year 6 so they can deliver lessons appropriate for every child in their class and we have provided opportunities for staff CPD within history to ensure that the needs of every child are met. We have ensured that there is opportunity for every child to access the historical skills appropriate for them throughout history lessons. Throughout our curriculum, we have made sure the children have access to history across all terms and in all topics through well devised medium term planning.
To ensure that we are community led in our history curriculum, we have developed a progressive program of study whereby the children across school study a local topic in autumn term. They then all study a British topic in spring and a world topic in summer, ensuring we are aware of the importance of our own local history, the importance of our country historically and our place in the wider world. We constantly strive to promote reflection in history lessons to ensure that children understand the impact and significance of historical events and have opportunities to discuss, evaluate and learn from these events, locally, nationally and globally.
Due to our thorough planning we expect that historical education will have an impact on children in a variety of ways.
We would expect to see children who are articulate and confident speakers. Children should be using historically accurate and age appropriate vocabulary naturally when talking about their learning. It should be apparent through pupil voice that children are enthused by history and have developed an interest in learning about the past. Due to encouraging the opportunity for talk, discussion and analysis throughout history lessons children in KS1 should be able to offer opinions about historical eras e.g. “I wouldn’t/would like to be evacuated” and give their reasons. Children in KS2 should be able to offer critiques about their learning and give clear and concise opinions. Children further up the school should be able to relate their learning to previous years and demonstrate how their knowledge has been built upon throughout their learning.
As well as developing these skills children will acquire progressive historical skills too. They will refine skills in four key areas: understanding chronology, key people, places and events, developing vocabulary and historical interpretation. They will also build on a variety of practical skills from sequencing to describing and eventually using that information to consolidate, critique and make clear, reasoned judgements.
In addition to this, we aim to make sure our pupils are well-rounded, considerate individuals through the development of our history planning. We will develop children who can consider the past and the implications that might have on the future as well as thinking about how our actions can affect the future. Children will develop an understanding of local, British and world history and again how key events, people and places can have an impact on future generations.
Below is the Progression of Skills taught in History at Byron.