We have decided to use Twinkl ‘PlanIt History’ as it offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons. This ensures we have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. ‘PlanIt History’ aims to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied; and will equip children for future learning. We have also decided to use and expand upon Chris Quigley’s ‘The Essentials Curriculum’. This spiral curriculum design helps identify key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited continually at ever more sophisticated levels. These key skills and concepts are: historical interpretations, historical investigations, chronological understanding, Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past and Presenting, Organising and Communicating.
The intent for history in Nursery is that children start to understand the tricky concept of the past by making sense of their life stories and family history.
Reception will focus on the life and work of three diverse people, Captain Tom Moore, Steve Jobs and Charles III. The intent for Reception is to continue to understand the tricky concept of the past but expand out from their own family to important significant figures in recent history.
The coverage of recent history in KS1 such as ‘Travel and Transport’ and ‘War and Remembrance’ enables children to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory and their parents’ and grandparents’ memories. The intent in KS1 is that the curriculum can be covered chronologically in reverse to allow a full opportunity for children to grasp the difficult concept of the passing of time. The Year 2 unit ‘Gunpowder Plot‘ is an exception to this rule as it has been placed so children will learn about the unit while they celebrate bonfire night in Term 1.
The intent in lower KS2 is that children can work in chronological order from ancient history such as ‘Ancient Egypt’ and then progress onto more modern history such as ‘Crime and Punishment’.
Upper KS2 allows children to repeat and embed this sequence of chronology with a broader selection of ancient history such as ‘Early Islamic Civilisations’ and ‘Stone Age’ through to more modern history such as ‘World War II’ and ‘Leisure and Entertainment’. The repetition in KS2 of chronological order from ancient to modern allows children to truly develop and embed a sense of time and how civilisations were interconnected. Children start to understand how some historical events occurred concurrently in different locations, e.g. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece and Celtic Britain.
We have decided to use an interleaving approach in history and geography, which involves alternating each week between a history and geography topic. Interleaving involves teaching subject content not in a single, continuous block but in chunks which pupils revisit over time. This approach helps embed new learning in long-term memory. Revisiting content involves the act of retrieving previously learnt knowledge, identifying what may have been misunderstood or forgotten, filling gaps and then developing further knowledge and understanding.
For children to know more and remember more in each area of history studied, there is a set structure to each lesson whereby prior learning is always considered, and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into the lessons. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, the lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenges. We have selected a specific series of lessons for each key stage, which offer a clear structure and narrative. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each lesson. This vocabulary is then included in display materials and additional resources to ensure that children are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this knowledge. Adult guides and accurate historical subject knowledge are always provided within lessons to allow the teacher and adults working in those lessons to feel confident and supported with the historical skills and knowledge that they are teaching. Through these lessons, we intend to inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.