“History helps pupils 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.”
History National Curriculum 2013
“We are not the makers of History. We are made by History”
Martin Luther King, Jr
At Broadoak Primary School we aim to develop in children a desire for knowledge about the past and the events which have brought us to where we are today. Through history teaching we enable children to gain a sense of personal identity and an understanding of their own cultural roots, as well as a respect for other cultures and other points of view. We also believe it important to ensure children have a sense of chronology and that recent, relevant historical events are included. We believe that History encourages creative and critical thinking and a questioning mind. We encourage our children to gain confidence in analysing an argument and sifting and weighing evidence – and consider that when we piece together the picture of the past it is just like detective work.
Throughout the school we recognise the importance of multiple approaches and use primary and secondary sources to give the children opportunities to become ‘active historians’. We ask our own questions, we investigate artefacts, we use the internet to research, we enjoy drama, role play and hot seating. We appreciate the role of narrative and read quality texts which link to our history topics. Our curriculum is enriched by the experts we have invited to the school, such as Roman soldiers and artists from Ancient Greece. In addition we are able to bring history to life and investigate primary sources and sites through our visits to The Manchester Museum, Tatton Park, Ordsall Hall, Worsley, the Bridgewater Canal and Salford Quays. Children learn about aspects of the past which relate directly to themselves, their families, their local area, our nation and the world.
At Broadoak the study of history contributes to the curriculum as a whole. It features within the primary curriculum as both a discrete subject and one that embraces cross curricular links to core and foundation subjects where appropriate. Children are given opportunities to develop their skills of research, investigation, discussion and problem solving and are taught how to communicate their findings effectively using oral, written or visual formats.
The Teaching of History
Through our History teaching we aim to:
- Foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer
- Enable children to gain a chronological understanding of the past, with relation to themselves, their families , their communities, our nation and the wider world
- Enable children to understand how their own local environment has changed overtime and to appreciate how their locality has impacted upon the history they study
- Enable children to know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative
- Enable children to know and understand significant aspects of history from the wider world
- Help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage
- Develop empathy with people in the past through an understanding of motives and perspectives
- Develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis and evaluation
- Enable children to understand and use historical vocabulary and terms
- Develop children’s understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance and use them to make connections, drew contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analysis
- Develop an understanding that events have many causes and that historical explanation can only be provisional, and therefore debatable
- Help children the understand methods of historical enquiry and to distinguish between facts and the interpretation of facts, considering how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past may have been constructed.
In order to achieve these aims we provide:
- An interesting learning environment in which children feel safe and secure
- Opportunities for children to be actively involved and engage in their own learning, through creative approaches to learning with strong cross-curricular links when appropriate
- Opportunities to promote independence
- Evaluations of children’s progress towards the Early Learning Goals and Nation Curriculum guidelines which inform planning at all stages
- Effective monitoring of teaching and learning.
History in Early Years
History is woven throughout the Foundation Stage curriculum and concentrates on developing children’s appreciation of time and past events. We use stories, role play and themes based on first hand experiences to begin to introduce some of the language and skills of history. History often plays a large part in the topic work covered during the year, relating to the relevant objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals through ‘Understanding the World’.
History in Key Stage One
In KS1 these cross curricular links are maintained as the children continue to make connections between their own lives and the lives of people from the past. They develop an awareness of the past by investigating topics further from their own experiences and begin to know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework. The children identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods and learn some everyday historical terms. They begin to 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 begin to understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
History in Key Stage Two
In KS2 we continue to develop and arouse children’s interest in the past and its influence on life today as we learn about people and events from British, local and world history. Through the topics covered, the children develop their chronological knowledge and understanding and we encourage them to ask and answer their own historical questions and use historical vocabulary and terms. The children build on their prior learning and make meaningful connections across time and place. They begin to be aware of connections, contrasts and trends over time and consider aspects of change, cause, similarity, difference and significance. We encourage the children to think about how and why people interpret the past in different ways and understand that our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.