At Butler’s Hill Infant School, History has a clear learning journey across the whole school. Our pupils learn about the history of their local environment, community and the wider world. History is taught through a Topic based approach to encourage development of both enquiry skills and historical knowledge. To quote George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ With this in mind, our intent is to create independent historians who are curious about Britain’s past, the world and about their own past. This will develop an awareness, respect and curiosity for different cultures and societies and the past. Children will have the opportunity to ask questions, conduct their own research and work collaboratively and through the use of trips, workshops from outside providers, handling artefacts and other ‘hands on’ experiences. History is accessible to all learners, through practical, differentiated activities. All teachers and support staff delivering the History curriculum strive to support children with SEND who have one of the four main areas of need by employing strategies from the ‘Inclusive Quality First Teaching’ Document. Supporting these aims are our school values: ‘The Three Cs – Caring, Creative and Confident,’ which underpin everything we do at Butler’s Hill, enabling our children to become successful learners and caring, thoughtful individuals.
Through high standards of teaching at Butler’s Hill Infants, we will implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. In Key Stage One, a unit of History or Geography will be taught alternately each half term, focusing on the knowledge and skills set out in the National Curriculum. History will have the same importance as all other subjects. We will sequence learning, layering and building upon previous skills, so that it is embedded in the long term memory of the children. Each new unit of work begins with a question, e.g. ‘Why Did the Great Fire burn for 5 days?’, and will have an opportunity for children to draw on and make links to previous learning. Butler’s Hill Infants has a clear focus on the development of speech and language. We have implemented tiered vocabulary development throughout the curriculum and use working walls, visual prompts and pre-teach vocabulary. All classes have a role play area in their classes which links to their topic. This all helps children to make links and develop their speaking and listening, as well as their writing across the curriculum. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each unit of work. Continual assessment will allow opportunities to re-teach and move on. Children will be given hands-on experiences to develop their history enquiry skills, but will also be able to use visits to gain other historical understanding. Our three key concepts of ‘Knowledge and Understanding, Chronological Understanding and Historical Enquiry’ are clear to see in each unit of work planned. The subject leader will support other teaching staff by implementing staff training. These will focus on areas identified as needed based on the results of a staff confidence survey, book monitoring and learning walks.
At Butler’s Hill Infant School we can judge the success of our History curriculum in the following ways:
- Lesson observations will show that all children are motivated and engaged and can access the tasks. Children will take ownership of their learning by raising questions and conducting their own research.
- Book scrutiny will show pupils’ learning to be of a high standard and will evidence that all children have made progress from their individual starting points, in line with the History skills progression used throughout the school.
- Children in Key Stage One will be answer ‘The Big 5’ questions at the end of each History topic, showing that they have retained ‘sticky knowledge’ and an understanding of the material taught.
- Through pupil conferencing, pupils will be able to articulate what they have learnt, which skills they have used and which aspects of the project they have enjoyed.
The impact and measure will be that our children leave Butler’s Hill at the end of Year 2, with the historical skills and knowledge needed to be ready for the KS2 curriculum. We want them to enjoy being ‘historians’, independently learning about the past. The language and skills needed to be a historian will be fully embedded.