History at New Park
At New Park Primary School, we are committed to providing a purposeful and stimulating History curriculum that fully prepares the children for the next steps in their learning and opens the doors to the wider world. We want to teach our children to develop a love of History and aim to do this through inspiring in pupils a curiosity and fascination to find out about Britain’s past, extending this to discovering more about the History of the wider world and encompassing the process of change throughout History. We seek to do this through deepening children’s understanding and providing them with transferable skills that can be used across the curriculum and outside of school.
We believe that high-quality History lessons motivate our children to want to know more about the past and develop their ability to think and act as historians. Through our History lessons, we want the children to gain in knowledge and skills in the classroom and through educational visitors and visits.
A high-quality history education will help our children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, form arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
We aim to develop the following skills to help our children to become confident historians:
- Demonstrate developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- Develop an excellent knowledge and understanding of significant people and events from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of chronology
- Develop the ability to think critically about History and communicate ideas confidently;
- Promote the ability to think, reflect, discuss and evaluate the past.
- Develop a desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of History topics.
- 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.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
- changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
- events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally [for example, the Great Fire of London, the first aeroplane flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries].
- the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell].
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
- changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
- the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots.
- the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
- a local history study.
- a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.
- the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world.
- a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
In Year 3 and Year 4, we follow a knowledge-rich humanities programme for teaching History. The programme meets and substantially exceeds the demand of the National Curriculum for History. The ambitious curriculum is characterised by strong vertical sequencing within subjects (so that pupils gain security in a rich, broad vocabulary through systematic introduction, sustained practice and deliberate revisiting) and by intricate horizontal and diagonal connections across terms and subjects.
Features of Opening Worlds:
- thoroughness in knowledge-building, achieved through intricate coherence and tight sequencing;
- global and cultural breadth, embracing wide diversity across ethnicity, gender, region and community;
- rapid impact on literacy through systematic introduction and revisiting of new vocabulary;
- subject-specific disciplinary rigour, teaching pupils to interpret and argue, to advance and weigh claims, and to understand the distinctive ways in which subject traditions enquire and seek truth;
- well-told stories: beautifully written narratives and the nurture of teachers’ own story-telling art;
- a highly inclusive approach, secured partly through common knowledge (giving access to common language) and partly through thorough high-leverage teaching that is pacey, oral, interactive and fun;
- efficient use of lesson time, blending sharp pace, sustained practice and structured reflection;
- rapid improvement of teachers’ teaching through systematic training in the Opening Worlds evidence-informed, high-leverage techniques.