History at the Skylark Federation
Following the updated Ofsted inspection framework (Ofsted, May 2019), schools were instructed to place Curriculum ‘Intent, Implementation and Impact’ at the heart of their curriculum design (within the new, reformed ‘Quality of Education’ measure).
At the Skylark Federation, 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.
Our ‘Intent’ – in designing our bespoke, South Downs curriculum is to maximise the potential of all of our pupils; intellectually, socially, morally, emotionally and culturally.
We believe our curriculum should be relevant and have a strong local resonance with pupils. In doing so, our intention is that all learners reach their full potential through a curriculum that is tangible and real for pupils of the South Downs. That is not to say our curriculum is narrow-sighted: we use children’s local understanding to project their minds across the globe.
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 Discovery Project.
A Source Bank for KS1 and KS2 has been collated by the History Subject Lead. 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 Year One and continue to hone these analytical skills enabling them to recognise and evaluate a range of Primary and Secondary sources by Year 6.
Subject and school leaders monitor the impact of our curriculum provision through completing regular monitoring, 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.
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 Lead has 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.
To support teachers in their subject knowledge, PlanBee resources have been purchased by the Federation to provide colleagues with resources and information about the periods of History studied.
- 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.