History Curriculum Statement
From Year 1 onwards, all class teachers explicitly teach the foundation subjects using a blocked, knowledge-based approach.
Geography and History are taught through our blocked approach, alternating each half term. This ensures that key skills are taught, and that progression in skills is evident from Reception through to Year 6. We use the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) curriculum scheme of work to support our planning.
Our learning sequences for History and Geography have been carefully planned, ensuring children are building on prior learning and that Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary appropriate to the study is taught explicitly. Planning starts with the knowledge, the ‘what’, the concepts, and how we learn about a subject, incorporates vocabulary including the etymology of words, and then worked examples leading to independent tasks.
Planning is delivered through various strategies. These include:
Throughout each planning sequence, quiz questions are explored with the children cumulatively across each lesson. These are used as a learning tool that activates memory, rather than an assessment tool.
Within each lesson, children are also allowed to ‘Show what you know; this allows them to retrieve key knowledge they can recall from the lesson, which they then reflect on at the start of each new session.
Knowledge notes are used to clarify all children, which incorporate key vocabulary, information, and images to support learning. Regular practice ensures that the knowledge becomes ‘sticky’ and encourages productivity.
To end each topic study, children can show what they have learned through our double-page spreads. These are completed independently and children can choose how to present their findings and knowledge recall.
At Mount Stewart, we take a no ceiling approach and use adaptive planning through open-ended tasks, pupils with SEND and the most able can achieve well, enabling all children to access our challenging curriculum and feel confident in their History learning.
At Mount Stewart, we aim to deliver a History curriculum that inspires our pupils to ask perceptive questions about the wider world and give them the skill set to become empathetic, accountable, and independent historians. Through varied experiences, within the classroom and utilising the wider local area, as well as quality teaching and learning, the children develop their curiosity and are then keen to explore and discover independently.
Within our History curriculum, we aim to encourage historical enquiry by broadening the pupils’ critical thinking skills through source analysis, sifting arguments, and developing both internal and external perspectives and judgment. As our students develop and become increasingly curious about their own identities and their place within the global community, we hope to provide them with the resources and knowledge to be able to navigate their way through life.
At Mount Stewart, History is taught in half termly blocks throughout the academic year. The purpose of this approach is so that there is time to ensure a proper depth of coverage of each unit, and ensure that knowledge and skills have time to be properly embedded. This ensures that the progression of each topic can be seen in high-quality bookwork that is matched with high-quality expectations.
The structure of our curriculum allows for strong cross-curricular links to be made with History, especially with our English lessons, allowing for greater contextual learning. Learning outcomes in History also enable our children to have rehearsal with writing styles previously taught in English.
Our knowledge-rich learning opportunities mean that by the end of Year 6, our children will finish their schooling with a thorough chronological understanding, the ability to draw comparisons and make connections between different periods, and to apply their historical skills to their future learning experiences.
Our geographical location provides us with easy access to our local area (which we utilise regularly), as well as that of greater London, enabling our children to become fully immersed in their local History and see their topics come to life. By having this hands-on experience, the children can make deeper connections to their learning and see some of their historical skills in practice.
At Mount Stewart, we identify children who need support and provide intervention most effectively and efficiently than we can. Teachers plan and teach History lessons that are adapted to the particular needs of each child. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools, and strategies they need.
The impact of our school's tailored and diverse History curriculum, as well as our quality first teaching, has enabled our children to engage wholeheartedly with their History learning, and consistently demonstrate a keen interest in being historians during their sessions.
Through pupil's voice, the children have stated that they enjoy the diversity within each topic, as it allows them to take pride in their cultural backgrounds, and connect with the learning taking place. They enjoy the wide range of historical investigations and practical aspects of lessons, as it helps to give them a sense of tangibility to the past. They are willing, and encouraged, to ask questions about their topics, to help further deepen their knowledge, feed their curiosity, and strengthen their analytical skillsets.
The skills the children use during their lessons, such as reasoning and problem solving, are demonstrated across the curriculum, such as within in their English, Reading, and Science learning.
Outcomes in books provide evidence of broad and coherent knowledge-rich learning opportunities, which demonstrate progression and continual build-up of their learning about Britain's past throughout their schooling careers