History at Barcombe C E Primary
At Barcombe C E Primary, we have constructed ‘a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners...the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life [while ensuring] teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts’ (Ofsted, May 2019, pg. 9 and 10).
To achieve this, we have modelled our curriculum on Jonathan Lear’s Discover, Explore and Create curriculum model, which sees all learners at the Skylark Federation critically analysing in History, Geography, DT and the Arts across the academic year. These Discover (History), Explore (Geography) and Create (the Arts) projects form the backbone of our projects across the year, and all subjects are informed by these projects.
In History, we aim to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past; to foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that History has to offer; to develop a sense of chronology; and to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
Every term, all pupils – irrespective of their year group – study our whole-school Discover, Explore and Create projects. This approach provides a whole-school ‘buzz’ and connectedness to our projects. History is covered during our Discover Project. History teaching is cross-curricular. It focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining primary and secondary sources. In each Key Stage, we give the children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance and interest. We encourage visitors to come into school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognize and value the importance of stories in History teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events and sources can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask critical questions, such as: ‘how do we know?’ and ‘how reliable is this source?’ about the information they are given.
A Source Bank for KS1 and KS2 has been collated by the History Subject Leads. This bank includes examples of sources that teachers may wish their pupils to analyse. The Source Bank also includes example prompts and questions to spark debate and talk amongst the children. This Source Bank is available online and in a hard copy for teachers to access.
At the Skylark Federation, a Progression of Skills document for History has been distributed amongst all staff members. This document is used as a basis to formulate the Federation’s planning. This ensures that children build on skills already taught in previous year groups. Children begin to analyse sources in Reception and Year One and continue to hone these analytical skills enabling them to recognise and evaluate a range of Primary and Secondary sources by Year Six. To complement our Progression of Skills documents, Subject Leaders have also outlined the Essential Knowledge pupils must encounter over the course of the Discover Project.
Subject and school leaders monitor the impact of our curriculum provision through completing regular monitoring, and that includes completing Pupil Voice questionnaires with the children.
Modelling can be seen in all History lessons to show children what the source analysis process looks like and to model high-level writing.
As above, all teachers are encouraged to complement their Discover project with a trip or experience to enhance the children’s learning and further engage them with learning about the past. The History Leads have compiled a Trip Bank, which colleagues can access to give them information and details about successful trips taken by the school as a starting point to enriching the Discover Project.
Assessments are completed by the class teachers at the end of our Discover project. Here, teachers indicate whether pupils are pre-threshold or post-threshold in regard to analysing sources. This information is then passed to pupils’ next teacher/s for when they next undertake the Discover Project.
To support teachers in their subject knowledge, PlanBee resources are used to provide colleagues with resources and information about the periods of History studied. History Leads have also created a Source Bank to support colleagues when planning and delivering lessons. These Source Banks also serve as exemplification materials to support teacher in making their final assessment judgement at the end of the Discover project.
Our pupils, by the end of the Discover Project, have devoted two terms to honing their skills and knowledge in History, particularly focusing on their ability to analyse sources and think chronologically. In recent years, the number of pupils judged by their teachers as ‘Post-threshold’ has increased. Pupils, too, speak proudly and with confidence about their History projects (Treasure-Conflict-Ancestors) and pupils’ books demonstrate children’s skills and knowledge progressing and developing from Year 1 to Year 6.
- See Data.
- See Pupil Voice in History Subject Leadership File.
- See Lesson Observations in History Subject Leadership File.
- See Book Scrutinies in History Subject Leadership File.
- See work in children’s books.
- See photographs of displays in in History Subject Leadership File.