Our curriculum is informed by, but not limited to the PlanIt scheme and the national curriculum for history and aims to ensure that all pupils:
know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales
History has always been held in high regard at Town Farm School. The school’s own history is celebrated within the context of the local area. The history curriculum draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling pupils to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality. Curriculum breadth is shaped by our ambition for students to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to pupils’ interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.
Throughout the programmes of study, the pupils work towards the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. This knowledge is informed by the national curriculum and builds towards identified key stage end points in accordance with NC expectations. Key skills understanding, analysing and evaluating are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school. These too ensure systematic progression to identified skills end points which are in accordance with the expectations of the national curriculum.
We recognise that we have a high level of pupils with speech, language and communication needs, so ensure historical language is taught explicitly.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows ‘Development Matters’ guidance which aims for all pupils in reception to have an understanding of the World by the end of the EYFS.
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science. Two main principles underpin it:
Learning is most effective with spaced repetition
Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength
History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that pupils achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that pupils acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school.
Key knowledge is reviewed by the pupils and assessed and consolidated by the teacher. By the end of year 6, pupils will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.
Knowledge Organisers support pupils’ understanding of subject specific language, remind them of previous knowledge and provide visual and summative information on key knowledge to be learned. They support pupils in engaging in independent tasks. These are used as a reference point as needed.
The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom is also identified and embedded in practice. Visits to the local area and use of local artefacts, such as the use of maps and photographs of bomb damage to the local area in WWII, also support contextualised learning, as well as the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills.
The history curriculum is designed to ensure appropriate diversity in the significant figures that pupils learn about. Teachers cater for the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
Outcomes in topic and literacy books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the pupils’ acquisition of identified key knowledge.
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning and pupils demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, in addition to being curious to know more about the past. Through this study, pupils ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.