History has always been a subject about which we are passionate at All Saints’. Our intention for the teaching of history is to give pupils the opportunity to develop an understanding of why the world and its people are the way they are today. They 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 are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this is the need to look at world history. At All Saints’ the children will explore the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and the Mayas with dedicated history days, visitors and workshops interwoven in the curriculum topics, developing their understanding of trends over time and across concurrent civilisations. They will look at the impact on the local area, looking at the reason for Remembrance and the legacy of the Accrington Pals, as well as Roman settlements of Ribchester (as a local area link), and the impact John Mercer had on the local area.
At All Saints’ history is taught through investigation and enquiry. Children develop an understanding of how history has had an impact on our lives today both locally, nationally and internationally. 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 investigate, handle artefacts, pictorial evidence, watch historical footage, take part in role play activities, visit relevant sites and museums and where appropriate, experience oral history, engaging with historical characters and ways of life.
Our curriculum provides a rich variety of topics that cover The Stone Age to the first moon landing. Each topic has an overarching question which they refer to at the end of each lesson to see how different events and actions can accumulate to build a deeper understanding of a historical period. They explore this question using a variety of investigative skills, engaging and becoming more familiar with historical skills such as analysing and debating the reliability of sources, making comparisons between historical periods, devising historically valid questions, drawing conclusions from sources and making links between events.
Underpinning this is an emphasis on children understanding the world around them, their country and their values.
How is History currently taught across Key Stages?
Across the whole school, there are four key historical learning intentions that the children will explore over the course of their education at All Saints’:
As they develop these skills in a range of contexts, so too will they develop the ability to be independent learners, using the key historical skills they have gained to analyse, question and compare sources of evidence to form their own judgements about the past.
At the end of each unit we have the opportunity for pupil voice to be heard; each class will choose a theme to do with their topic that they haven’t yet covered but are intrigued to learn more about, be it the celebrations and festivals, battles or culinary delights! This sharing of their learning will help to foster an enthusiasm and sense of curiosity about the past, encouraging the children in their first steps towards being life-long learners.
Children learn to make links and form a life-long love of investigating, enquiry and questioning. This has 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.