At Carlton Miniott, we aim to give students a variety of learning experiences in History.....
At Carlton Miniott Primary Academy, we value History as a way of helping pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our History curriculum aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past, not only to enrich their knowledge of a bygone era but so they are more equipped to change society for a better future. Teaching will aim to equip pupils with the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Like other subjects in school, the teaching and learning in History will aim to develop children’s cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual awareness.
How is the Subject Taught at Carlton Miniott Primary Academy?
At Carlton Miniott, History is primarily delivered in ‘topics or themes’ outlined on our Long Term Plans followed by staff. They are available for parents to view on our school website. We link pupil learning with a range of subjects to reinforce pupils’ knowledge and skills, including English, Design Technology and Art.
The three areas of learning that pupils’ study through both key stages are:
- Historical Understanding
- Historical Enquiry
- Periods in History
At the start of each topic, we use ‘launch days’ as a vehicle to inspire pupils; at the end of topics, we use ‘landing days’ to review the learning and to ensure that topics provide a lasting impact to pupils.
History is delivered through, ‘Understanding the World.’ Children use personal timelines to explore their families and how they’ve changed. They discuss and observe changes over time by exploring plants. By looking at transport and toys, children also investigate changes in history: how things differ today from what they were like in the past.
Pupils will learn to have an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They will learn to use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They will be taught 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. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
Pupils will be taught about:
- changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.
- events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally. For example, the Great Fire of London, Flight or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries.
- the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some will be used to compare aspects of life in different periods. For example, Captain James Cook and Neil Armstrong.
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Pupils will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. They will note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They will construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. At Carlton Miniott, staff will aim to help pupils understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
Pupils will be taught about:
- changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
- the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
- the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
- a local history study
- a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 e.g. WW2
- the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of Ancient Egypt.
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history: Mayan civilization c. AD 900
The school has implemented a ‘Keep Up Not Catch Up’ (KUNCU) approach to learning. In lessons, teachers monitor work carefully and give immediate feedback to pupils. This not only gives quick praise to pupils who have successfully addressed an area of the learning objective but helps them address misconceptions. Teachers are able to adapt their teaching based on this. At the start of each topic or theme, staff also do ‘prior’ learning activities to assess pupils’ current knowledge and use this to adapt teaching.
Pupil work is mainly completed in a ‘Wonderful Work’ book but also includes oral work and practical activities e.g. role play and artwork. We encourage pupils to produce neat work that mirrors work in other subjects, like English writing. Some historical writing may be in English books if it is part of a particular genre. To support the teaching of History, classes have access to a range of topic boxes that contain artefacts, books and display materials e.g. WW2, containing examples of war posters, evacuee materials, posters and books. Classes also use history themes as the basis of both class and school displays to promote pupils’ learning.
To give pupils a greater appreciation of the subject and to enhance their experiences, classes take part in educational visits to venues like Eden Camp, Malton, Elvington Air Museum, York or The Ryedale Folk Museum (near Helmsley). Visitors to school and theme days also add to the richness of the subject in school.
In everyday lessons, use of computers for research and multi-media, including sound recordings and films, give children a greater insight into historical events e.g. Chamberlain’s speech at the outbreak of WW2.
Assessment and Tracking of Pupil progress
Staff use an assessment software program (Insight) to both record and monitor pupil progress in History. Assessment is an ongoing process and is used to identify and enhance pupil learning. Staff use this information to analyse pupil strengths and to identify any ‘gaps’ in pupils’ historical knowledge and skills. The Long Term Plan clearly shows the assessment objectives that will be addressed in a particular theme/topic. The subject leader uses information from this to present to staff and governors.
Staff Subject Knowledge and Continuous Professional Development
The subject leader (through analysis of pupil work, ‘pupil voice’ discussions, assessment data and subject monitoring) will identify any development areas in subject knowledge. Staff questionnaires and discussions (including staff meetings) will also identify areas of subject knowledge that may need enhancing. The subject leader will give feedback and will lead training sessions in staff meetings. He/she will also identify external training that may be utilised to develop staff skills and knowledge.
Impact of measures taken
Pupil Voice: Discussion with pupils in May and October 2021 very positive: Across all age phases, pupils were enthusiastic about History:
’I enjoy learning what people did.’
’I enjoy learning about things in the past.’
‘Launch and Landing Days help you to remember and give you a head start.’
Trips have continued to be an integral part of the History curriculum: These have been well received by children and have really contributed to their learning experience. Trips have include an Anglo Saxons trip (Murton Park, York, in June 2021); local history trips (October 2021) and Victorians themed trip to Armley Mills, Leeds (with costumes!) in October 2021.
Use of sources and chronology is now even stronger (Neil Armstrong in Yr 1; Stone Age in Yrs 3/4; comparisons of past v present and historical questioning).
Data from July 2021 shows lots of strengths in attainment in school.
History still has high profile with themed displays. These are changed half termly to enthuse pupils and celebrate their work.
Lots of evidence of History being linked to other subjects, like DT, Art and Writing.
Use of historical novels, like 'Carrie's War' (Yr 6) and 'Goodnight Mister Tom' (Yr 5), have encouraged reading development through a historical theme.