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History

Our Intent, Implementation and Impact for History.

Intent

The study of history at Plymtree Primary School is developed with two of the tenets of our school motto ‘Inspire’ and ‘Achieve’ as its guiding principles. The National Curriculum provides our school with a broad and balanced program of study to follow.

At Plymtree Primary School, we see this as a starting point to develop our own individualised curriculums which support the needs of our learners and help them to develop into historians of the highest quality.

We are carefully shaping our curriculum to give our children a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, including a knowledge and understanding of their local history.

History at Plymtree Primary involves engaging pupils in investigating questions about people and events in the past, in order to help them better understand their lives today and to help them become informed citizens in the future.

Our enquiry approach, coupled with high expectations, help to build solid knowledge and understanding which is then revisited and built upon through the Key Stages.

The development of children who are capable critical thinkers is also important to us, and this is supported through questioning and an understanding of the subjective nature of historical knowledge.

Our curriculum is aspirational in terms of instilling in children a desire to achieve the highest levels of success by providing them with opportunities to master core historical skills.

It is also logical, with chronological sequencing through the Key Stages. For example, with children studying early British History such as Stone Age to Iron Age in Years 3 and 4 before moving on to Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in Years 5 and 6.

Lastly, our History curriculum is inclusive in terms of delivering the same curriculum to all of our pupils regardless of specific learning needs or disabilities. We achieve this through careful and considered differentiation where necessary, classroom support and alternative assessment outcomes.

Implementation:

In the EYFS, children secure a strong grounding in History through the early learning goal of ‘Understanding the World’. This then continues into Key Stage 1 where we begin to develop young historians who are curious about the world, and have a desire to learn about its history.

As we move into Key Stage 2, we begin to develop an enquiry-based approach with overarching questions to be investigated, and ancillary questions to be studied in each lesson. This helps our children to build subject knowledge and understanding, as well as become more adept at critical thinking, the use of specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts.

Our learning and teaching in History is interactive and practical wherever possible, allowing opportunities for independent, pair and group work. Wherever possible, we provide pupils with the opportunity to study contemporaneous historical evidence including narratives, paintings, photographs, artefacts and video in order to make their own judgements and conclusions.

Similarly, we provide varying and differentiated way for pupils to record the outcomes of their work including writing, annotated diagrams, drama and class presentations.

The strategies listed are all beneficial in helping knowledge to become embedded for our children, enabling them to recall it and develop it in subsequent years.

Knowledge Organisers

We use these throughout the school to support the understanding of key concepts alongside key knowledge and vocabulary. These are not considered to be a list of things to be memorised, instead are a supportive tool to be used as a point of reference in their learning.

Impact:

We ensure that when assessing pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources including discussion with pupils, lesson by lesson observations, practical activity assessment and recording of work in History books.

The outcomes of each unit of History help to inform us of the developing picture of knowledge and understanding the child has and to plan future learning accordingly.

The recording of work in History books in balanced in its approaches. While we understand that cross curricular writing skills have a purpose and place, we feel that this can create a barrier for some when trying to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. To this end, we also promote oracy in terms of verbal feedback of findings, class discussion and debate as well as drawing and annotation. Where necessary we also promote the use of adult scribing to ensure we are as inclusive as possible.

Formative and Summative Assessment

Each lesson is planned with key formative assessment opportunities, usually in the form of teacher questioning.

Annually, we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the National Curriculum and our learning goals. At this point teachers decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether the child has achieved and embedded the expected learning, has exceeded expectations or is still working towards them. This is then used as a basis of reporting achievement to parents.

Low Stakes Quizzes

We use low stakes quizzes at the end of a unit of teaching to assess whether knowledge taught has been understood and embedded. We then use these to inform future judgements of planning and revisiting of subject content in subsequent years.

Learning Environments

History is promoted through the use of displays as well as topic books provided from the local library service. Displays include vocabulary, knowledge organisers as well as a working record of lessons the children have taken part in. In essence, the children build the displays throughout the teaching of the unit.

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