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Subject Leader - Mrs L Smith
At River Primary School the main aim of our history curriculum is to provide children with a coherent understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world by inspiring them to be curious about life, events and individuals in the past, which have impacted on the world we see today. In history lessons, children explore the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. We endeavour to broaden their horizons and build their cultural capital through a curriculum which includes a wide range of experiences such as visits and history ‘living experience’ days in school. Rich local history is a prominent feature of our context. Our history curriculum draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of their locality.
Through our History curriculum, we strive to inspire children’s curiosity about the past from local, national and global perspectives. Our curriculum builds children’s historical knowledge of key events and people. It also develops their understanding of historical concepts, enabling them to identify similarities and differences; cause and effect; and changes and trends. Our curriculum provides children with opportunities to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to teach children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. We believe that teaching History in this way is important in expanding children’s knowledge beyond the
classroom, challenging preconceived ideas and developing life skills in order to prepare them for secondary school and beyond.
Teaching historical terminology is an important element of our history curriculum. Alongside this, we use artefacts to develop historical understanding and encourage the application of their vocabulary. Handling artefacts gives them the opportunity to engage with all their senses and invites discovery based learning and enquiry. Children are encouraged to articulate and develop their independent analytical thinking, particularly when studying historical evidence. Throughout our history curriculum, children are encouraged to work collaboratively. Peer talk is used to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views. Debates and discussions are actively encouraged to evaluate the past by formulating / refining questions and lines of enquiry, all of which reinforces and develops speaking and listening skills, which underpins our English curriculum.
Cross-curricular learning offers a creative way to develop children's knowledge, skills and understanding within History while motivating them to learn through stimulating, interconnected topics. However, it is always explicit to the children that they are learning history skills and we encourage them to think like ‘Historians.’ As history is above all the study of the human condition, it provides us with endless opportunities for fostering children's personal development.