At Sedlescombe Church of England Primary School we are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in history. This policy sets out a framework within which teaching and non-teaching staff can work, and gives guidance on planning, teaching and assessment. It has been developed through a process of consultation with school staff and governors.
History is about real people who lived, and real events which happened in the past. History is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past; it gives us a sense of identity, set within our social, political, cultural and economic relationships. History fires the children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and plays an essential part in preparing us for living and working in the contemporary world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In history, children find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are prized in adult life.
The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world;
- Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind;
- Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’ ;
- Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses;
- Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed;
- Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short-term and long-term timescales.
Our Vision for History
At Sedlescombe Church of England Primary School it is our vision that History will be an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject that supports children to develop our key learning behaviours and skills for life.
History shows us that success is rarely easy! History learning at Sedlescombe primary school will challenge each individual child and support them in reaching their full potential. Activities will be interesting and challenging making our children not only want to succeed in each activity but want to develop their historical understanding as much as possible.
Throughout recent history, historians, anthropologists and archaeologists have had to show increasing creativity to conduct their work in the digital age and this will translate to an array of creative opportunities in history learning. Children will have to think creatively when trying to find out about a historical period for which we have little physical evidence and when presenting findings, will have to select the most creative and relevant way of doing so.
Curiosity is at the heart of all history learning. Through outstanding and innovative history teaching, our children will be hungry to find out even more than they learn in class and will be encouraged to complete their own research at home. As well as being curious for facts, we will encourage their curiosity surrounding ‘why’ historical events took place and offer opportunities for the children to consider what the world could be like today if certain historical events had happened differently.
Throughout their time at Sedlescombe, each child will come across a multitude of inspirational figures who have shown courage and gumption despite the odds. This will in turn inspire our children to have courage in their history learning and to research and delve into history as much as they can, no matter how hard or challenging it may appear at first.
Despite often being seen as a theoretical subject, there is an abundance of practicality in history learning and children will have opportunities to work in teams to explore primary evidence and decide and debate about what each source actually tells us. In history learning, two or more heads are always better than one so children will work in research teams, completing different roles and sharing their findings.
History as a subject actively encourages independent thought and, especially as the children move through the school, there will be a plethora of opportunities for children to challenge what they are hearing and question what they are being taught. In KS2, within certain parameters, children will have opportunities to independently select historical elements to research and will be expected to present their findings to their classmates.