What do we aspire for our children?
History has always been a subject about which we are passionate at All Saints’. We provide a high-quality history curriculum that has been designed and sequenced to give pupils the opportunity to develop an understanding of why the world and its people are the way they are today and equip children with a secure knowledge of local, British and world history. Children begin to ask questions as they explore the diversity of human experience, past lives and societies. We intend that by the end of their primary education, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from Stone Age to present day and will be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. With dedicated history days, visitors and workshops interwoven in the curriculum topics, children's understanding of trends over time and across concurrent civilisations will be further developed. The history curriculum at All Saints' is rich in vocabulary, knowledge and experience, designed to be delivered in chronological order, allowing children to develop their understanding of past civilizations, events and discoveries, and how these have influenced life in Britain. There is a focus throughout the children's time in school on our own local history and how events in the past have created the town that we call home today. Through an enquiry-based approach, children are encouraged to ask and explore historically valid questions and report their findings by drawing on skills from across the curriculum. Alongside the development of substantive knowledge, children will develop their disciplinary skills as they learn the fundamental elements of what it is to be a historian. Children at All Saints' will explore different cultures with respect, understanding and tolerance and will be able to draw together all they have learned to form historical narratives which are clear, accurate and show an understanding of people and events of the past.
How will we deliver the curriculum?
At All Saints’ history is taught through investigation and enquiry. Each unit in our curriculum is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their disciplinary knowledge (historical skills). Children develop an understanding of how history has had an impact on our lives today both locally, nationally and globally. Whilst it is important for children to have facts, we wish to encourage independent and critical thinking which will foster an understanding of ‘why’ as well as ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’. All history topics start with a question, that the children contribute to answering throughout the unit. Lessons are planned so that there is time for discussion and debate, fostering an environment of enquiry which enables children to revise and justify their opinions as well as encouraging children to ask, as well as answer, questions about history.
We believe that history should be an interactive subject which strives to ignite a child’s natural curiosity. Each unit being planned includes opportunities for children to develop their experiential knowledge by investigating and handling artefacts, visiting relevant sites and museums and where appropriate, experience oral history, engaging with historical characters and ways of life.
Our curriculum is linked together through key historical concepts that children will revisit throughout their time at All Saints'. These threads allow children to make comparisons between different units as they move through school, drawing on prior learning. Although not every unit will include each of these concepts, children will visit them more than once as they move through school. The concepts that link our topics are chronology, settlements, trade, conflict and transport.
At All Saints' we believe it is vital that children develop a rich understanding of their own local history and, as such, this concept is woven into our curriculum to ensure that it is explicitly taught, and that links are made to larger historical themes from EYFS to Year 6. Children will learn about a variety of our own rich local history, ranging from significant local people to Roman settlements, from nearby castles to the vital role of the Accrington Pals and how these events and people shaped our town.
Through retrieval practice, recapping and quizzes, we aim to ensure that the learning that takes place during our history lessons is retained and becomes embedded. Spaced retrieval techniques involve deliberately recalling knowledge from memory to make learning long lasting and durable over time. By using historical concepts throughout the curriculum, we are ensuring that topics are revisited again and again, long after they were first taught, thus allowing children the opportunity to recall and retrieve their learning repeatedly.
How do we know our curriculum is effective?
Teaching history through the use of narratives and allowing children to answer their own enquiry questions with the help of investigations, will lead to children who are able to articulate their understanding and knowledge with confidence. We use pupil voice as an important tool in assessing children's progress and learning in history. If a child can confidently and clearly develop and explain their own ideas and opinions in response to an overarching theme, then we can be sure that the delivery of our curriculum has been successful.
Work in history is recorded and shared through the use of big books, topic books, presentations and projects. Each child has input in this work which is expected to be of a high standard and good quality.
Children learn to make links and form a life-long love of investigating, enquiry and questioning. This has a huge impact on other curricular areas due to the links the children make. Vocabulary is continually being expanded and embedded, giving children more confidence to tackle new ideas and dig deeper.
Cross-curricular links with history
Each unit incorporates many cross curricular links with maths, literacy, science, geography, art, computing, PHSCE and Religious Education.
Throughout the unit, children complete a piece of history writing based on literacy targets. This enables them to use the vocabulary they have learnt creatively as well as familiarising them further with the range of writing types and genres they cover throughout the school. As well as being an opportunity to consolidate writing skills and reapply them in an alternative and more independent context, this type of activity also allows the children to put themselves in the shoes of the historical characters they are learning about and approach their learning from a different perspective. We have found this is a really good way of revising learning from the lesson whilst progressing with writing.
Geography is an integral part of history as land use and location are central to why certain historical events happened. Many of the tasks our children tackle in history lessons draw upon this understanding.
Each unit will look at an aspect of art from that era such as Roman pots and Maya tablets. This allows children to reflect on how art can help us build a picture about the past.
Through science each class looks at significant scientists and inventors, this is all linked to the children’s chronological understanding of the past, for example year 6 look at the Victorian inventor Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric light bulb when looking at the electricity unit.
History Trips, Visitors and Workshops
At All Saints’, we believe that fieldwork trips are highly valuable for cementing historical understanding and bringing history to life. We are fortunate to live in an area rich in local history, and we look at the impact of John Mercer on the local area, the Roman settlement in Ribchester and the legacy of the Accrington Pals, as well as other local links for example Gawthorpe Hall and Clitheroe Castle.
We hold workshops, history days and invite visitors into school throughout the year.