History Policy

Tower Hill Primary School

History Policy 

Rationale:

We want children to develop a positive attitude towards History; to see it as an interesting, enjoyable and exciting subject. We want to inspire children’s curiosity to know more about the past, develop their understanding of identity and enable them to make better choices in life today.

Encouraging children to ask questions, think critically and develop judgement about people and events in the past helps them to understand the present and prepare for the future. We want children to develop a chronological understanding, being aware of events that happened in Britain long ago alongside that of the wider world. Enabling children to investigate and interpret events from the past develops the skills of enquiry and analysis which will support their ability to draw conclusions and communicate their findings.

Aims and Objectives:

The aims of History in our school are:

  • To foster an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables children to enjoy all that History has to offer
  • To enable children to know about significant events in British History and to appreciate how things have changed over time
  • To develop a chronological narrative. Learning about events in Britain’s History and being able to link to events from the History of the wider world.
  • To help children understand connections between local, regional, national and international History.
  • To know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education
  • To understand how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • To help children understand the complexity and diversity of societies and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage
  • To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation
  • To support children in their development of a historically grounded understanding of first-order terms (empire, civilization, parliament) and second-order terms (comparing, analyzing, interpretation)

Teaching and Learning:

At Tower Hill Primary School, we have used the new National Curriculum (2014) and QCA History Units as the basis for our curriculum planning. However, we have moved towards teaching and learning using the Hampshire Six Step Approach. We ensure there are opportunities for all children to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and plan for progression to ensure children are being challenged as they move through the school. We teach the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the New Curriculum through the corresponding program of study.

We teach History to:

  • Spark pupils' curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world
  • Encourage thinking about how the past influences the present
  • Help students develop a chronological understanding of the past including significant events and people
  • Foster a sense of identity and an increased understanding of pupils' own position in their own community and the world
  • Develop a range of skills and abilities specific to this subject to enable children to explain how and why contrasting viewpoints of the past have been constructed.

History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We recognize the importance of examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each Key Stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance, regarding this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We encourage visitors to come into school to deliver workshops or share expertise of a particular area. We recognize and value the importance of stories in History teaching. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways, and that they should always ask searching questions, such as “ How do we know?”, about information they are given.

We recognize the fact that in all classes there are children of widely-different abilities in History and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:

  • Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses
  • Setting tasks of increasing difficulty.
  • Grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each ability group
  • Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child
  • Using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups

Foundation Stage:

We teach History in reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the history side of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. History makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world through activities such as dressing up in historical costumes, looking at pictures of famous people in History or discovering the meaning of vocabulary (‘new’ and ‘old’, for example) in relation to their own lives.

Key stage 1:

In Key Stage 1, History is about beginning to understand the concepts of past, present and future and developing an understanding of their own and their families past. We want children to use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. We want the children to ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events.

Children:

  • Learn about people’s lives and lifestyles by finding out about significant people and events from the past;
  • Listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions;
  • Learn how the past is different from the present.

Key Stage 2:

In Key Stage 2, History is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding of significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. We want children to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world History, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.

Children:

  • Learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world;
  • Look at History in a variety of ways e.g. from political, economic, technological, scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives;
  • Learn about the complexity of societies from around the world.
  • Use different sources of information to help them investigate the past, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments.
  • Learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.

Assessment and recording:

Each child is assessed on an on-going basis. Coverage of outcomes for each key stage is ensured and children’s acquisition of skills is recorded using History progression documents (introduced Autumn 2015) which are specific for each unit for each year group. Each progression document highlights seven strands of History: Constructing the Past, Sequencing the Past, Change and Development, Cause and Effect, Significance and Interpretation, Planning and carrying out a historical enquiry, Using sources as evidence.

Teachers will:

  • Gather evidence of what individual pupils know, understand and can do in History by observing them at work, listening to and discussing with them, and evaluating any work they produce. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress.
  • Once the children complete a piece of work, mark and comment as necessary. Once they complete a whole unit of work, judge whether the child is ”working towards”, “meeting”, “exceeding” expectations (referring to the seven strands) in that particular unit of History.
  • Pass these progression grids to the Subject leader for analysis.
  • Report annually to parents on how well the pupil has achieved, what s/he does well and what is needed to bring further improvements.
  • The History subject leader will keep samples of children’s work in a portfolio.

Resources:

There are sufficient resources for all History teaching units in the school. We keep these resources in a central store where there is a box of equipment for each unit of work. The library contains a good supply of topic books to support children’s individual research. We have DVD’s and web based resources to support children’s individual research. We welcome and actively encourage visitors to join us to pass on their experiences, memories and knowledge. Learning outside the classroom also plays a key role in the provision of History.  In addition artefact boxes may be borrowed from Hampshire Wardrobe Centre and Farnham Wardrobe Centre.

Monitoring and Reviewing:

The subject leader is responsible for monitoring the standard of the children’s work and the quality of teaching in History. The subject leader is also responsible for supporting colleagues in their teaching, for being informed about current developments in the subject, and for providing a lead and direction for History in the school and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The History Subject Leader gives the head teacher an annual action plan in which the strengths and weaknesses in the subject are evaluated and indicates areas for further improvement and the planned actions to address these.