At Springfield Primary School, history forms an integral part of our Footprints Curriculum. We want to teach our children to understand our past so that we can make thoughtful observations and judgements about it. Therefore, we believe that by learning about the footprints of the past, we can better understand the world we live in today and make informed decisions about the footprints we may leave in the future. Central to our approach to teaching history, is a belief that it is far more than a list of dates and events that must be memorised. We use an enquiry-based approach to explore the past and learn about key periods. Within our classrooms, we follow these rich lines of enquiry by answering questions such as What is the lasting legacy of the Ancient Greeks? Studying history in this way inspires children’s curiosity, encourages them to ask critical questions and enables them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and that of the wider world.
In our History curriculum, we have thought about key threads that run through the units of learning. These include invasion and settlement, legacy, empire, civilisation, monarchy and society. By carefully mapping these themes across the units and revisiting them in different sequences of learning, we will help children gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
How we plan for and teach history
At Springfield, history is embedded in our topic-based approach to learning in EYFS and KS1. In KS2, history is taught once each term. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the unit that will build on and develop the children’s knowledge and skills. In Key Stage 1, our curriculum is mapped to enable children to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will start to 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. As they progress through the key stage, they will demonstrate a growing confidence and accuracy when using historical vocabulary, such as monarchy, explorer and artefact. In Key Stage 2, children will 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. This chronology, or sequence of events, will be referred to throughout KS2 so that children become secure in their understanding of important historical events and eras. It will also enable them to begin to identify trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms such as ancient and civilisation. The explicit mapping and rigorous teaching of vocabulary ensures that children can gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ or ‘parliament’.
Carefully selected skills are chosen to best match each unit of knowledge and progress year on year. Opportunities to practise and embed skills are planned for so that they are revisited and refined over time. The knowledge and skills that children will develop throughout each history topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. We also maximise the opportunities that our home city of London has to offer in terms of its rich history and vast array of museums and cultural sites. Therefore, children’s learning in history is enriched by visits to carefully selected museums, where workshops and visit materials deepen their understanding and knowledge. Teachers are also able to use the Historical Association’s wealth of resources to develop their subject knowledge.
How we evaluate learning in history
The impact of our History curriculum can clearly been seen in the children’s Topic (KS1) and Humanities (KS2) books. Our rich History curriculum is also evident in the texts that we have selected for our children to read, displays in our classrooms, class assemblies where children share their knowledge with their parents and the historical narratives our children recount. The detailed unit overview outlines the main learning objectives – enquiry questions – that the children will investigate and answer during their learning. The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the learning is planned for regularly to enable the children to see how their learning is progressing.
Assessment of Learning – children’s learning is assessed using a range of Prove Its. These Prove Its provide evidence for assessing against the three assessment statements on the Unit Overview. The Prove Its are carefully designed and require the children to recall their knowledge about the unit in a variety of ways (for example: sorting objects from different periods and explaining their function, describing the significance of key individuals from a period studied). At the end of the year, class teachers then use the children’s recorded work and assessment to make a judgement as to whether each child is working towards or at the expected level.
Year Group Overviews
Clink on the link below to see the history curriculum for each year group.
History at Springfield