A people without a knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots - Marcus Garvey
History Curriculum Intent
At Our Lady and St Brendan’s we want all our children to be historians. It is our aim that the history curriculum will nourish our children’s curiosity about the past from their locality to deepen their inquiring minds about their own origin and culture and that of the wider world. The history curriculum broadens children’s horizons, challenges ideas and nurtures tolerance. Throughout their journey as historians at Our Lady and St Brendan's, we want each child to grow into a lifelong learner of history and learn about, and from, their successful Bradford forefathers. The children will be equipped to ask perceptive questions, think critically and develop perspective and judgement. Children will be actively involved and engaged through educational visits, practical experiences and investigation of artefacts to develop their knowledge and skills all the way through school ready for the next stage in their education.
Bradford has a rich and fascinating wealth of heritage from Roman remains to Victorian grandeur. With a long industrial heritage, Bradford is proud to have once been the wool capital of the world. Pioneers such as The Bronte family, Sir Titus Salt, JB Priestly, Margaret McMillian (campaigner for free school meals), and Samuel Cunliffe Lister (industrial inventor) were born a short distance from our school. We are fortunate to have links to areas of specific importance and can access these to enhance the children’s learning and inspire them to want to know more. This develops children’s questioning skills as well as their depth of knowledge. Each class have a local history topic and links are made between other periods of history and our local area for example the evidence of the Roman impact our area.
Our History curriculum is taught explicitly in Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2 and history objectives are met in Early Years through an experiential, cross-curricular, immersive approach to ‘Understanding the World’. In addition, where appropriate, meaningful cross curricular links are made with other subjects to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils while exploring historical contexts. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British History from the Stone Age to the present day. They will be able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.
Educational visits are carefully selected to develop the children’s real life historical experiences to meet all the curricular skills. On return to school children are inspired to reflect on their first hand experiences to motivate, stimulate and encourage more in depth pieces of work. Children have the opportunity to share their work and celebrate their achievements, making them proud historians. Our history curriculum is regularly reviewed and improved to ensure that every child’s full potential is met.
The National Curriculum is used as the basis from which we plan and deliver the teaching of history at Our Lady and St Brendan's alongside our knowledge of the community and locality which we serve. History is taught in a systematic and progressive way, in which substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills and vocabulary is clearly mapped out alongside key concepts. Our History long-term plan supports teachers in planning each learning sequence, which states progressive knowledge and skills to ensure history teaching and learning builds progressively year on year. Links are made within and across topics. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers focus on chronology and create timelines on which the children map dates, periods and events and any significant individuals they have previously learnt about to develop children’s understanding of chronology.
The impact of History teaching is assessed in a variety of ways. Each lesson has an enquiry question which the children demonstrate that they can answer at the end of the lesson via a 'checkpoint' task. The end of the unit culminates in a 'showcase piece of work which could be a non-chronological report, a presentation, a piece of drama or any style of task that enables the children to demonstrate their learning. Since our History Curriculum is well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression, if children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress.
At the end of a unit, post-learning assessments provide an opportunity for pupils to demonstrate what they have learnt across their given unit and reflect upon and consolidate their learning. Both of these are used to inform Teacher assessment in addition to the work produced in the books and teachers’ reflections on how children have performed in class discussions and practical activities.
Book looks, analysis of end of unit assessments and learning walks are used by the subject leader to gain an insight of history teaching in practise. In addition to this, the subject leader conducts informal pupil interviews to ensure that history knowledge is being retained. Through this, it is evident that pupils are excited and curious about history. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate way. Children remember more, know more and can do more. Pupils have a strong chronological understanding of historical events, are making connections between their influence on the past and develop the ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
As our Year 6 pupils transition to secondary school, we aspire that they will have developed a historical mind of inquiry and a passion for historical learning that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.