History fires children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and helps them to understand the diversity of human experience beyond Rusper. Effective immersion into key historical periods helps children to understand the concepts of culture and shared views by considering what was relevant and important within a particular society. In turn, this is important for helping children understand the relevance of their own culture locally, nationally and globally. Additionally, comparing and contrasting different historical periods from different chronological points gives pupils a basic grasp of the journey of human cultural and technological development. Again, this is essential for grounding pupils understanding of where we are on the journey of development now. Finally, history provides them with the ability to empathise with others, argue a point of view and reach their own conclusions - essential skills that are prized in adult life.
It is our intention that all children at Rusper Primary School experience a high-quality, inspiring history education that instils an appreciation and respect for the past, a hunger to discover more about the past and a greater awareness of the present.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year so that children achieve depth in their learning and make links across it. Our curriculum is built upon the following substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
1. Substantive knowledge - Substantive concepts link all units of study. Concepts of invasion, civilisation, knowledge, democracy, power are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.
2. Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call it ‘Working Historically.’ The features of thinking historically involve significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, chronology and evidence.
3. Historical analysis is developed through selecting, organising and integrating knowledge through reasoning and inference making in response to our structured questions and challenges. We call this ‘Thinking historically’
Our history curriculum draws upon prior learning and follows a progression model. The structure aims to build children’s cumulative knowledge, as well as enabling them to make connections within their learning. Our plans incorporate a range of units of work that revisit, elaborate and sophisticate key historical concepts. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to make links across their learning and ensures that the curriculum is made memorable.
Our learning modules are linked to associated vocabulary modules. These aim to explicitly teach historical vocabulary in sequenced and coherent plans across the school that in turn strengthen cognitive connections. We aim to develop the following:-
Tier 2 vocabulary: High frequency and multiple meaning vocabulary, often found in adult conversation and literature.
Tier 3 vocabulary: Low frequency, context-specific vocabulary – language that is taught as part of a specific subject or domain.
Our core curriculum represents our teaching and learning programmes for all. Except for children with the most complex learning needs, we aim for the same level of expectation and ambition for all of our children. Where necessary the curriculum will be adapted and broken down into smaller steps. This approach is of benefit to all of our children.
We evaluate our curriculum using an evidence informed approach. We have timetabled the review of the foundation subjects and aim to evaluate our curriculum provision, the effect of teaching and the depth, retention and connection of learning. We do this by reviewing planning, looking at our children’s work and talking to our children. In doing this we aim to identify and share strengths, explore ways to improve our provision and enable the professional growth of our teachers.
The impact of our teaching on children’s learning is assessed in a variety of ways. Formative assessment is on-going with teachers assessing, reviewing and planning lessons. Retrieval practice is used to enhance recall of key content. Activities such as low stakes quizzes, are built into teaching to help children overlearn concepts and knowledge, so learning is retained in the long term memory.