At Gorseybrigg Primary School we teach History through our Creative Curriculum. This enables our children to complete lots of research, investigate questions and discover similarities and differences throughout history.
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” Pearl Buck
At Gorseybrigg Primary School, we want all our pupils to be inspired and engaged by a high quality history education. We know that the teaching and learning of history is essential to the development of a child’s understanding of the world. By giving children the opportunity to explore people and events in the past, they are able to develop their own ideas, beliefs and values.
- We offer children the opportunity to explore historical events and eras with the use of high quality texts, artefacts and sources in order to provoke interest and enrich their enquiry skills.
- We are committed to promoting depth of knowledge, which is supported by the direct teaching of historical events, eras and people, using technical vocabulary. This enables children to develop a sense of chronology as well as the ability to articulate their developing understanding and opinions.
- Our history curriculum provides a framework for every child to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis and investigation.
- We strive to cultivate a real enjoyment of history and to support all children to achieve their full potential.
Throughout the academic year, the study of history and varied history-themed opportunities are provided as an enhancement to the wider curriculum including but not limited to:
- Considering how the historical background impacts on the music, geography and literature we study (for example considering World War II during the study of The Silver Sword in Y6 and exploring black history in America during the study of the composer Florence Price in Y4).
- Visits to sites of historical interest (for example visiting St Paul’s Cathedral in Y6 and the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury in Y1), and discussing the historical background and impact of these.
- The celebration in school of historical anniversaries and foci including Black History Month and Remembrance Day.
In the spring term, the core history curriculum is delivered during our school-wide subject focus. This subject-blocking offers pupils and teachers the time and focus to delve deeply into a period or historical figure and understand how their impact on today’s world using the vocabulary required for high quality learning and teaching. Each year group studies one aspect of history with an enquiry question at the heart of learning which is chosen specifically to engage and inspire children in that age group. Enquiry questions are examined in depth and provide the main vehicle for the teaching of the essential skills of enquiry, evaluation, interpretation and understanding. Progression is embedded into our history curriculum and described in detail in our history skills progression map.
We have two history subject leaders in order to ensure coverage, continuity and progression throughout the whole school. They have a range of joint responsibilities:
- To monitor and evaluate history teaching and learning
- To manage the history budget effectively
- To maintain the history element of the School Improvement Plan
- To liaise and consult with outside agencies, local clusters and community groups
- To support and advise teachers in the planning and delivery of history lessons
- To maintain and monitor history resources
- To attend and disseminate training
- To ensure membership of the Historical Association is up to date and used in school
We want all children at our school to make excellent progress, achieve success and find enjoyment in history. Our belief that understanding history helps all our pupils to foster a keen appreciation of the world and to understand how historical events impact today’s society guides the choice of activities and resources to promote active participation by everyone whatever their race, gender, economic status or ability. We strive to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, disabilities, particular gifts and talents and children for whom English is an additional language so that everyone is able to fulfil their potential.
Our history curriculum is filtered through our ‘big idea concepts’ so it has relevance for children’s understanding of our local, national and worldwide community. We hope that our pupils’ adult lives continue to be enhanced by their enjoyment and understanding of history and offer our history curriculum as a foundation for life-long learning and pleasure.
To achieve our high expectations and fulfil our commitment to excellence, we appreciate how crucial it is to engage with students in order to evaluate the impact of our provision. We regularly conduct pupil voice interviews and act on the outcomes. Using our in-year assessment model, we consider the attainment of individuals and use the results to set pupil targets.
To inform excellence in history teaching, we intend that teaching staff will develop a deep knowledge of the curriculum. To enable this, all teachers have access to our Historical Association membership and participate in practical training sessions arranged in-house by our history specialists. Assessment against the curriculum enables us to consider attainment and progress and adjust teaching accordingly, communicating achievement in history to children’s new teachers. Regular monitoring including lesson observations, book-looks where appropriate and the checking of planning takes place in a supportive atmosphere where the emphasis is on improvement and the sharing of ideas.
The curriculum is designed to teach children about historical events from a rich selection of cultures and our resources include texts, pictures, sources and artefacts from around the world. Children are taught to recognise and appreciate the differences and similarities between events from different eras and countries. Our curriculum is enriched by our strong links with Dronfield Library and Dronfield Historical Society and our children have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to our community by becoming involved in local events which celebrate the rich history of Dronfield. We recognise that this engagement in the community helps to engage families and we use these occasions to provide information about the curriculum.
We choose topics which allow them to explore the past, think about the present and prepare them for the future.
Our Foundation Stage children:-
Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
Our KS1 Children:-
Develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time.
They know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
Our KS2 Children:-
Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
They note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.