History: intent, implementation and impact.

Intent

At Stannington First School, we strive to develop young historians who are enthused to investigate, learn and interpret the past both locally and worldwide. Children are given plentiful opportunities to engage with the local history of both Northumberland and Britain, as well as explore ancient civilisations from around the world. We actively encourage children to desire to learn more about the history of their locality and the impact historical events and eras had upon the area.


Through a carefully planned curriculum, high quality resources and teaching, and a consistent approach across the school, we develop the following characteristics of historians:

  • An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain and Northumberland’s past

  • Learning about the concept of chronology, which underpins children's developing sense of period, as well as key concepts such as cause, change and effect.

  • The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences in both verbal and written form.

  • The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources.

  • The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.

  • A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning.

  • A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.

  • A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.

Implementation

Our history lead ensures we have a long term history plan with clear expectations for the progression of knowledge and skills from EYFS which builds a core of knowledge ready for the transition to middle school and beyond. 

As a school, we have developed a consistent approach, following a carefully considered lesson progression. This focuses on broadening children’s knowledge and ensuring retention of information and skills through regular ‘Flashback’ activities and purposeful recapping, acting to reinforce understanding and assessing this understanding purposefully.  We have a school-wide agreed collection of ‘Buzz Word’ terminology that is focused on widening children’s history vocabulary that can be used accurately and consistently in both verbal and written form.

The core knowledge of each individual unit is compacted into knowledge organisers that are available on tables and on our interactive screens to be referred to both by teachers and children in a purposeful and effective way in lessons. We provide children with regular challenges that seek to reinforce, consolidate and extend learning and provide teachers with an effective and meaningful form of measurable assessment against core knowledge.

In each year group in our school, from EYFS through to Year 4 pupils learn about:

  • Events beyond their living memory

  • Significant historical events in Britain and more locally in Northumberland

  • Significant individuals and their achievements, targeted around local individuals who have made an impact in history.

  • In Years 3 and 4, pupils also learn about the achievements of the Earliest Civilisations.

Local history and heritage studies are an integral part of our history curriculum. Studying local history allows our pupils to look at what was happening in Northumberland at different periods in time and to see the extent to which it mirrors or differs from what was happening elsewhere. We plan a range of educational visits to places including Roman Vindolanda or Houseteads Fort in Northumberland to learn about Roman history in Britain, or local castles to learn about the Norman Conquest.

Through local history and heritage studies we aim to enable our pupils to:

  • Understand how and why their local community has developed in the way it has  

  • Investigate the people and events that took place where they live

  • Develop a sense of historical curiosity about their area and a sense of place

  • See how Northumberland was involved in, responded to and was affected by regional, national and international events and actions – was Northumberland typical or was it unique?

  • Understand why Northumberland is worth knowing about  

  • Be aware of the features of their local community and the extent to which they are an asset  

  • Strengthen their chronological understanding and their appreciation of how and why some things change and some remain the same

We work with our local history society and parish council who organise community events to commemorate significant anniversaries such as the Centenary of the end of World War 1 or the 75th anniversary of VE day. Involving our pupils is integral to the success of these events and the organisers have funded education visits for our pupils and lots of artefacts for school, to bring learning to life, including our own Anderson air raid shelter which has been installed on the school field.

We have an ever growing collection of high quality, carefully sourced historical resources that support teaching and learning and provide children with the tools they need to develop as historians. History based resources can also be found around school, in communal areas including the outdoor play areas that children are encouraged to use. Our collection of high quality artefact boxes are key to inspiring our children to ask questions and initiate investigation based learning.

 

Impact

We continuously develop and refine our History curriculum and expertise at Stannington First School and monitor and evaluate the impact of our curriculum and teaching practices on children’s progress and attainment. Each year, an action plan is written and agreed upon by our History lead and teaching staff which we all work collaboratively to ensure History within our school develops year on year. 

Through supportive and progression-focused learning walks, our History lead is able to observe the implementation of the school’s curriculum and identify both areas of strength and areas of development to inform our next steps in History. Children are encouraged to talk about their learning in History both inside and outside of the classroom, making links across other areas of the wider curriculum.

We have high expectations and pupils present their learning purposefully in a range of ways, evidencing their progress and learning clearly. Pupil books and electronic portfolios plus regular discussions with pupils clearly evidence our children’s competency and confidence to communicate their historical investigation skills and depth of knowledge effectively and in a variety of ways. Through collaborative book moderation and teacher discussion, teachers are able to ensure consistency in History across the school and seek to develop our next steps in our continuous progress in the subject area.