HISTORY CURRICULUM STATEMENT
Academic excellence and intellectual curiosity for all
The aim of history teaching here at Hackney New Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity, and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today. It is important to us at Hackney New Primary School to take into account children’s lived experiences, and all year groups explore historical themes relating to our locality. We make full use of the resources within our local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of their locality and their own identity.
History is taught for half of the year in every other half term. Teachers are given the core knowledge and skill progression map for each unit, and consideration is given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. By the end of Year 6, children have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. They are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives. Interlinked with this are diverse studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Benin Empire.
In the Spring term, the whole school celebrates Hackney History Week, our very own bespoke focus week which aims to have the children understand the history of migration to Hackney and how this has contributed to the diverse borough they are growing up in. Each year group studies the migration story of one of our Hackney communities. We have developed a close relationship with the Hackney Museum, who we have been collaborating with on this project for the last few years. These bonds with our local organisations enable us to ensure that our teaching and learning stays abreast with current historical thinking.
Whilst planning predominantly stems from the National Curriculum, additional resources are used to shape our approach. As a school we are a member of the Historical Association (HA), and are currently pursuing the HA’s Quality Mark. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, demonstrated and learnt within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. We use the concept of ‘low threshold, high ceiling’ to ensure that all learners can access our curriculum, but also such that no limits are placed on those pupils who are able to take their learning to a deeper level. Where possible, we use ‘active learning’ in our lessons to stimulate, engage and ensure deep thinking and learning takes place.
Hackney New Primary School uses a mixture of formative and summative assessments to ensure core knowledge is learnt and then retained over time. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the core knowledge and that skills are progressively demonstrated by our pupils. Our knowledge-rich approach ensures that we have high expectations for our pupils’ historical knowledge.
Throughout the year the profile of history is raised through the celebration of important occasions, for example Remembrance Day. At these times, pupils broaden their understanding of the world around them. Cross-curricular consideration is given to guarantee that history continues to be promoted during times when pupils are not being taught history. Historical fiction and non-fiction books linked to previously covered units are shared with pupils in English and guided reading lessons, which helps embed previously taught knowledge.
Outcomes in history books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified core knowledge. Children review their learning at the end of each topic by recording their learning on a knowledge harvest. Knowledge organisers are used for short, low stakes quizzes to ensure the retention of core knowledge over time. Regular monitoring ensures that outcomes meet the expected standard.
By the time children leave at the end of Year 6 they will have gained a coherent knowledge and an understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, which helps stimulate their curiosity about the past. Children will ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.