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Intent

The purpose of History at WRPS is to encourage pupils to develop an appreciation and understanding of the past, evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources. Our historians will also be able to explain clearly how these sources give us an insight about how people around the world used to live and how these interpretations may differ. Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day.

Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum states that ‘a high-quality history education will help pupils 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.’ 

To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our History curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Historical Investigation; Chronological Understanding; Historical Understanding; Historical Enquiry; Interpretations of History; Organisation and Communication are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge.

When covering each of these strands, the content will be carefully organised by each year group through a long term plan. We recognise how and when Cognitive Load Theory can make learning more efficient by employing teaching and learning methods that reflect this.  Content knowledge, vocabulary and skills will then be planned for at a greater level of detail in the medium term plan. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils. Opportunities are planned to develop children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, including through our school GRACE values.

Implementation

All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long term memory. Knowledge organisers could be used for pre-teaching, to support home learning and also as a part of daily review.

Principles of Cognitive Load Theory are used to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, making learning more efficient by using teaching and learning methods which:

  • Measuring and reviewing existing knowledge and confidence and adapting teaching accordingly.

  • Reducing the ‘problem space’ by breaking problems down into parts, and by using partially completed problems and worked examples.

  • Extending the capacity of working memory by using both visual and auditory channels. Merging together multiple sources of visual information whenever possible.

  • Identifies which knowledge is most significant – for example, the use of knowledge organisers which detail some key information, dates and key vocabulary (vocab is taught explicitly throughout each unit).

  • Ensuring that pupils have sufficient time to repeat and practise so that knowledge is remembered and stored in their long term memory.  ‘Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory.  If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned’ (Sweller et al 2011)

History assessment is ongoing throughout the relevant cross-curricular themes to inform teachers with their planning lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each topic where history objectives have been covered.

Our historians will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.

Impact

Pupil voice shows that pupils are confident and beginning to talk about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary. Pupil voice also demonstrates that pupils enjoy history and are able to recall their learning over time. Pupils work demonstrates that history is taught at an age appropriate standard across each year group with opportunities planned for pupils working at greater depth. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence.

We aim that children make outstanding progress over time from their own starting points and that teachers endeavour to clearly know and assess what children have learnt, including securely, and what might need to be reviewed or re-taught as they progress.