Below you can find some useful documents that help illustrate our approach to teaching History here at Coleridge.
Rationale for History at Coleridge Primary School
The Coleridge Way
History at Coleridge primary school teaches children the historical knowledge, concepts and transferable skills to become analytical thinkers, tolerant individuals and confident communicators, who are curious about the past and how it links to their futures. Underpinning our history curriculum is subject knowledge. In EYFS, children begin to develop an understanding of the difference between the present and the past. In KS1, children deepen their awareness of the past, completing a local study and learning about a key historical event. A chronological approach is taken in KS2, where each year group studies a British period of history, and then a contrasting period of world history from the same time. Every year group will focus on a significant female individual from their period. At Coleridge, subject knowledge is taught through historical skills and concepts.
Chronological understanding: know where people and events fit into chronological framework, develop a chronologically secure knowledge of history and establish clear narratives within and across periods studied.
Diversity: make observations about the social, religious and ethnic diversity in Britain and the wider world.
Change and continuity: describe and make links between main events, situations and changes within and across different societies and periods.
Cause and consequence: identify and give reasons for, and results of, historical events, situations and changes.
Historical significance: identify historically significant people and events in situations.
Historical interpretation: understand that different versions of the past may exist, giving some reasons for this.
Historical enquiry: regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions.
Using evidence: understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Communicating about the past: construct informed responses by selecting and organising historical information.
Teaching and Learning
Our History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on analysing artefacts and identifying primary and secondary sources. Every year group has access to high quality educational visits outside of the classroom, to spark interest and excitement, bring historical periods to life and increase cultural capital. We encourage family learning to take place during the term so that adults can experience their children’s history curriculum themselves. History mash ups consolidate and embed prior learning, and ensure that our children are confident in understanding how Britain’s past and that of the wider world has influenced their lives today.
At Coleridge we understand the importance of knowledge organisers and how they can support children’s understanding and learning.
They are also an excellent assessment tool which can help identify gaps in learning and inform planning, teaching and intervention. As we have developed our own curriculum, class teachers have also developed knowledge organisers to work alongside our curriculum. Children will be encouraged to refer to knowledge organisers throughout sessions to help support and enhance their learning.
Knowledge organisers can be a valuable tool for both children, staff and parents. Class teachers are the ones who write the knowledge organiser, to set out their expectations of what pupils should learn about a topic – and to clarify their own thinking around what is important.
School leaders, headteachers and subject leaders then may look at a series of knowledge organisers to check for progression and continuity both within and across curriculum subjects and to ensure standards and expectations for learning are being implemented, and if not, what CPD is required.
Pupils will review, revise and quiz themselves using their knowledge organisers. Knowledge organisers are a really clear and easy to understand way for parents to be more aware of what their children are learning and thus to support them.
Some of the benefits of knowledge organisers
- A knowledge organiser makes the teacher think hard about what will be taught.
- Knowledge organisers are an endless source of meaningful homework activities.
- Knowledge organisers are an excellent tool for inclusion.
- Knowledge organisers create opportunities for spaced retrieval practice.
- Ahead of a summative assessment at the end of a topic you can inform pupils that some of the questions will refer to previous learning; pupils can then refer to the knowledge organiser to access and practice those topics.
- Used appropriately, knowledge organisers can increase retention of facts
At Coleridge, we have several non-negiotiables that need to be included in a knowledge organiser, they are:
- Key vocabulary (linked to Progression of language)
- Key places and people
- Useful diagrams (as required for the topic)
- Key dates for a subject like history (e.g. when the two World Wars were)
- Key themes
- Important quotes
- Stem sentences for a subject like Science or Maths
We use knowledge organisers throughout school, however, in EYFS they look different to other phases of school due to the away the curriculum is structure. In EYFS, we use a holistic approach to knowledge organisers and have a topic knowledge organiser, whereas, in KS1 and KS2 our knowledge organisers are subject specific.
If you would like any information about our knowledge organisers then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
History National Curriculum Aims
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Progression of language
By the end of Key stage 2, children should have a concrete understanding of the key historical terms shown in the table below. These terms include both the language relating to the passing and measuring of time, as well as vocabulary relating to historical skills and concepts. In addition, children will also learn subject specific vocabulary linked to the period of history studied in their year group.
Here is an example of planning from the first lesson of the Shang Dynasty in Year 3. Planning takes the same format in each year to ensure there is clear progression across sessions and year groups. For example, every history lesson starts with ‘Vocabulary Explorer’ where a piece of key vocab is analysed, ‘Chronological Quiz’ where timelines and key events are recapped and embedded, and ‘Source of the Day’ where children analyse a primary source linked to the session. Each class teacher planned with the subject leader so that the lessons could be tailored to the needs of each class and to make sure that knowledge was taught through concepts and skills throughout the sequence of lessons.