Subject co-ordinator - Miss Dalton
At St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School we follow the Kapow Primary History scheme to support and enhance our planning of the History curriculum.
St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence.
To meet the aims of the National curriculum for History, we have identified the following key strands that build our history curriculum:
Our history curriculum emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram above. These strands are interwoven through all our History units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do. Each topic has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world.
The impact of history can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. The children will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.
School trips, local visits, visiting speakers and celebrations are just some of the ways in which children gain a full picture of our history curriculum. We want our children to see themselves as historians and so construct situations that will require them to develop this attitude.
We aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. We aim to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each year group, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of History.
We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries.
In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, we aim to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.
Kapow Primary’s History scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the Understanding the world Development matters statements and Early learning goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further history learning in Key stage 1.
In EYFS, children explore the concept of history by reflecting on key experiences from their own past, helping them understand that they each have their own histories. Then, they engage in activities to compare and contrast characters from stories, including historical figures, deepening their understanding of how individual lives fit into broader historical narratives.
Children will further develop their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts and trends over time.
In Key stage 1 and 2, units are organised around an enquiry-based question. Over the course of your child’s history education at St Polycarp’s, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
- Change and continuity
- Cause and consequence
- Similarities and differences
- Historical significance
- Historical interpretations
- Sources of evidence
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As children progress through the years, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.
Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, clearly identified in Lower key stage 2 and revisited in Upper key stage 2, allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History. We follow a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon.
The impact of history at St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School will show that children will:
- Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.
- Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
- Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences.
- Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
- Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
- Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
- Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
- Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
- Meet the relevant Early Learning Goals at the end of EYFS (Reception) and the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History at the end of Key stage 1 and 2.
Using Blooms driver vocabulary, ideas are explored to enable all children to dig deeper with their historical learning. Children will go from remembering facts, to applying this knowledge to questions before building this into more challenging learning opportunities where they have to reason, justify, evaluate and create. This structured approach means all of our young historians are included and can access the learning!
If you would like to see our Progression of Skills and Knowledge, please do not hesitate to request a copy from the school office.