Intent - What we want for our developing historians?
At Horn’s Mill, we provide a high-quality history curriculum that has been carefully designed and sequenced to equip our children with a secure, coherent knowledge about British, local, and world history. It promotes curiosity and a love for learning about the past and has been aligned with our geography curriculum to make valid and purposeful cross-curricular links. As part of a transition project with our local feeder high school, we crafted our curriculum to meet the national curriculum expectations as well as the requirements that the high school expect of their developing historians when they begin Year 7.
Curriculum content is knowledge, vocabulary and experience rich, delivered in a sequenced chronological order. When writing the curriculum, we wanted to dig deeper and linger longer to help develop children’s understanding of how different civilisations have helped build the world we know today. Across the year groups, through an enquiry based approach, we continually revisit historical concepts to help children understand how historians studied the past and constructed accounts. Through our history curriculum, children will have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well of that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. We want children to know how the past has shaped our lives today and how it will shape our future.
Children will study a range of cultures and historical perspectives enabling them to be respectful, tolerant and empathetic; they will leave Horn’s Mill with knowledge about key people, events and time periods from the past with an understanding of an overarching historical narrative.
Implementation - How is the curriculum delivered?
When delivering this curriculum for our children, we ensure that opportunities are created for application of learning across the subject, for example: In Year 3, children explore how Britain changed during the Iron Age. In Year 4, children take part in a local history study of the Iron Age hill fort on Helsby Hill. This provides an opportunity for children to apply knowledge and vocabulary learned in Year 3 again in Year 4, as they further develop their understanding of this part of history.
Our curriculum is delivered in a way that ensures overlearning of key concepts and opportunities to revisit learning. Where it supports the delivery of the curriculum, subjects align with one another to provide these opportunities, for example: In Year 2, children find out about various explorers throughout history; later in the year, they revisit some of the places that the explorers visited when learning about hot and cold areas of the world in geography.
Key historical concepts sit at the heart of our curriculum to ensure the defining characteristics of the subject are ever-present.
Reading across the curriculum
In order to develop children's reading skills, our teaching staff plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the history knowledge being studied, or learning that has been previously taught. We have invested heavily in supporting our history curriculum once children have learned to read, with Collins Big Cat titles that enrich the wider curriculum, alongside a subscription with an education library service. Whole class reading lessons from Year 2 and throughout KS2 are intentionally sequenced to develop children's background knowledge and widen their subject-specific vocabulary. For example, when studying WW2 in Year 6, children read a range of texts and genres based on this part of history.
Alongside this, when possible, history teaching will be taught alongside quality thematically linked texts in writing lessons and class read-a-louds are planned to support the delivery of the curriculum. For example, when studying Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in Year 5, children will also listen to ‘Beowolf’ as a daily class read-a-loud and use ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’ in English lessons. Similarly in Year 3, children study the text ‘Stone Age Boy’ when learning about the Stone Age. We use narratives as a way of bringing time periods to life.
Where possible, history learning is enriched by visits and opportunities to handle artefacts. Trips and visitors are carefully planned to ensure they link with what is happening or will happen in the classroom. For example, Year 6 visit Chester Military Museum to take part in a local history study. High quality workshops are also an integral part of our curriculum offer, with handling artefacts and discovering how historians found out about what happened in the class. For example, in Year 3, children experience an Ancient Egyptian workshop where they develop their historical enquiry skills through archaeological investigation and artefact handling.
Impact - How do we know our history curriculum is effective?
Our inclusive ethos and approach to creating our curriculum offer means that we have thought about how children can demonstrate their learning in a way that is accessible for all. Pupil Voice is one of the ways that we ensure learning is sticking and that the curriculum is achieving our aims. We believe that if children have become skilful and knowledgeable historians, they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. Pupil Voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress.
The curriculum has been sequenced to lead to end points, where specific knowledge and vocabulary that children should know and remember will be assessed. Children present their understanding of history learning in various ways: through high-quality written outcomes and art pieces; through the use of drama, or through class discussions, debates and presentations. Throughout their learning, opportunities are planned for children to show their understanding of what has been taught. Children have learning journeys which show their progress throughout the curriculum, and displays are created around school to celebrate learning which has taken place and to also provide opportunities for children to recall and discuss this learning.
If you have any further enquiries relating to the history curriculum, please email Mrs Jobber on email@example.com