History Intent statement
"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future." Theodore Roosevelt.
At Didsbury CE it is our intent to provide a history curriculum that helps pupils gain a clear knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We believe that we should build on children’s natural curiosity to know about the past. Our history curriculum enables our pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, analyse evidence and arguments and develop a view point and opinion. During their time at Didsbury CE we believe that history should be used to help pupils to understand the process of change and the concept of cause and effect. We aim for pupils to understand how their communities have changed and how they can be a positive, active member of their community.
A curriculum for life for all whatever the background
We are proud of the fact that the ambitious history curriculum at Didsbury CE plays a vital role in equipping each child with the skills and knowledge needed to take advantage of opportunities in later life. The vocabulary rich, knowledge engaged curriculum provides children with first hand experiences that bring the subject to life and root the curriculum in a local context. The curriculum content and design provides children with the key historical knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be ready for their next stage of education. The discussion, debate and social advocacy opportunities that thread through our curriculum equip our children, whatever their social background, the soft skills such as critical thinking and teamwork that are vital to success in 21st century Britain.
Curriculum end points
The history curriculum is designed with clear key knowledge end points at the end of each year and ultimately each key stage. The curriculum history curriculum that is taught in each year group is designed to build to those end points. Key aspects of English such as persuasive language and maths such as chronology are contextualised and woven in our history curriculum.
Curriculum planning and sequencing
We ensure that our that our history curriculum builds on previous learning and that it is connected to other subject areas, especially English,art and geography to create a greater coherence and context for the children.
In EYFS the knowledge and skills in History comes from the starting point of the child and is taught through Understanding the World area of learning. This is broken into 3 sub-areas: People and Communities, The World and Technology. History is mainly taught within People and Communities.
Within Key Stage 1 local history is taught alongside key events in British history (Great Fire of London). Key historical events that have helped shape society as we know now are also studied (Moon landing, the discoveries of Christopher Columbus). Themes are also studied that give the children the opportunity to compare the past to their lives now (homes long ago). The themes studied often link to the geography and English curriculum areas so that the learning is contextualised.
In Key stage 2 within our history curriculum we have exercised our academy freedoms to not teach all of the units that the National Curriculum lists. We have done that for several reasons.
- We have chosen to study units that are key periods (Tudors, Victorians, World War II) in British history that have helped to radically change and shape our society today far more than topics based around Ancient Britain. These topics also give the opportunity to study local history within a larger context.
- Our children bring an enthusiasm to these topics that is unrivalled within the rest of our curriculum. The work that they produce within these periods studied is of a high standard.
- By focussing on fewer periods of history it allows us to study those periods in greater depth and for stronger links to be made with English, art and design, design and technology, religious education.
- First hand learning experiences and resources that provide a crucial link to the past are far more plentiful for more recent history than for Ancient history.
- We ensure that children have broad overview of Ancient Britain and an understanding of chronology that allows them to place history periods from ancient to modern correctly.
A great ancient, non-European civilisation is also studied (Egypt) where children are encouraged to make links to life as we know it today. In Key Stage 2, children are also given the opportunity to study a given theme (Leisure, Communication, Medicine and Crime) across an extended time period. This approach allows children to develop understanding of change through across a significant period of time and across different civilisations.
Reflecting the local context
We feel that it is important that our children have a strong sense of belonging to our locality and knowing its history. Didsbury is rich in, especially Victorian, local history and our curriculum is designed so that children have the opportunity to discover how our village developed and changed over time. A little further afield our children have the opportunity to step into the world of Tudor life at the magnificent Bramall Hall, experience the hardships of being a Victorian apprentice at Styal Mill and step back into life in war time Britain at the Stockport Air Raid Shelters.
A broad and balanced curriculum
At Didsbury CE children study history for the equivalent of 45 minutes a week in KS1 and one hour a week in KS2. We have always been committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum that is not narrowed in end of key stage years and we are proud of the work that is produced in our history lessons. We passionately believe that the history curriculum should build upon the skills and knowledge of the core subjects. For example, the history curriculum gives opportunity for high level and substantial pieces of writing that contextualise the skills taught in the English curriculum.
High academic ambition
Throughout the history curriculum at Didsbury CE there is an expectation of high academic standards and children at Didsbury CE enjoy the opportunity to be historians. The design of the curriculum and the opportunities afforded the children mean that high standard of writing in history is the same as it is in the core subjects. We passionately believe that all children regardless of background can reach those high standards. Pupil premium is used to ensure that all children have full access to the history curriculum. For children with SEN, our history curriculum and the resources we use are adapted so that they have the opportunity to receive their full educational entitlement. Our history curriculum is designed so that all may be challenged to fulfil their potential.