At Bywell Junior School we recognise the value a high-quality History curriculum can offer to our pupils. It should aim to inspire a curiosity and fascination about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Through a rich and diverse breadth of study across the year groups, pupils will become equipped to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh up and debate the validity of evidence, study sources and develop judgements.
As well as developing a strong sense of chronology, through visual timelines in our classrooms, our History curriculum aims to improve decision making, enhance a sense of right and wrong and what is fair as well as allowing children to identify or show compassion to cultures and civilisations from the past. Our History curriculum aims to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum, which encompasses both the British Values and Bywell’s own Core Values throughout. We ensure progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills and an understanding of primary and secondary sources.
We want children to enjoy learning about History by teaching engaging, thought-provoking lessons, immersive activities, drama and use of artefacts. However, opportunities will also be provided, where possible, to bring in additional visitors in to school, have History themed days and provide meaningful educational visits all designed to stimulate the children’s curiosity about the past and how that past influences the present and shapes the future.
- Teachers are confident that all the National Curriculum objectives are being taught and there is clear progression throughout each year group.
- Medium term planning is reviewed to ensure that knowledge based catch-up lessons are planned for and learning opportunities executed regularly.
- History is taught in weekly hour slots three half-terms a year by the class teacher. Key questions are included to challenge understanding. Evidence and sources are analysed to provoke historical thinking.
- Children will retain what they have learned throughout lessons and during different parts of the academic year. Quizzes will further capture learning to ensure children retain what they have learned
- All staff are confident with the processes in place to engage pupils in learning History at Bywell.
- History is displayed across school in displays with a progressive timeline visible in every class.
- Teachers subject knowledge is audited and subject specific support will be provided where needed.
- Memory quizzes are regular and consistent throughout school. Children can see impact of regular quizzes and how their scores are improving. During topics, scores for all but a handful of children improve from the start to the end of a topic.
- Working walls are developed and are becoming increasingly more detailed with specific content.
- Book scrutiny conducted in March and again in June. There was a good variety of activities present in all books with some differentiation evident in LA books. There was some good discussion and role play opportunities to deeper understanding with a variety of good questioning to develop historical thinking. There was evidence of writing opportunities built in to the planning (especially further up school).
- Learning objectives are written as questions and are being followed in each year group for each topic.
July 2023 Update
- I am collecting work from books and placing it into a scrap book for each year group to demonstrate this variety in books and progression. This will be continued from the beginning of next year.
- Timelines are being used and created at the start of topics and linked with the main classroom timeline of all topics covered. These are being done in a variety of ways and I have explained in a staff meeting that they need to show progression from one year to the next.
- A history progression sheet has been created which shows how history is taught throughout school, how it progresses and what is expected in terms of learning and thinking.
Next Steps for 2023/24
- Audit all History resources in one place so that it is clear what resources are being used and are needed for each topic and to ensure they are all in one place so staff can access them easily.
- Do a pupil voice questionnaire to ascertain what they like about history, what topics they are looking forward to and if they remember why history is taught in certain ways.
- Collect examples of work for the scrapbooks and monitor topic displays on working walls.
- Work with Year 3 and 4 teams to look for opportunities to do more extended writing pieces.
- To deliver a staff meeting reminding and developing ways of teaching historical thinking and how to further develop to top 20%
- To ensure each topic has one ‘source’ based lesson.
- To make sure each task should be explicit in the planning so all staff can see what the expectation is out of each lesson
- A whole school progress document to be shared with staff so each year group can see objectives, expectation and coverage of topics of other year groups and how it progresses through school.
- Arrange time to discuss with staff any trips or internal visits that could potentially be booked.
October 2023 Review
- Planning has been checked to ensure there are more ‘source’ based lessons
- I am checking planning each half term to ensure what needs covering is being covered taking into account History is now taught an hour a week for 6 weeks instead of in blocks.
- A whole school progress document has been shared at the end of a staff meeting.
- An audit has been done. All History resources have been collected in and boxed with labels and all placed in my store cupboard so resources for a particular topic are all together.