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History

The History Curriculum at St Thomas

 

At St Thomas’, we deliver an ambitious, knowledge-based history curriculum that aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. It helps pupils gain a coherent, chronological knowledge and understanding of the past and enables them to use core knowledge of dates, events and people to talk confidently about a range of historical periods in Britain and the wider world.

The history curriculum builds upon prior knowledge in a carefully sequenced curriculum, both within and between year groups, and makes links to other subject areas.

Pupils develop an understanding of key substantive concepts (parliament, civilisation, empire, democracy and monarchy) that act as threads throughout the history curriculum from the beginning to the end of the pupils’ primary education.

 

How is history taught at St Thomas?

 

History timeline at start of year

Every child will construct a timeline that is added to throughout the year with new units studied. This timeline should be referred to at the start of every unit and where necessary in lessons.

Structure of lesson:

Retrieval:

Children will take part in a short, independent task where they will be required to retrieve previously gained knowledge. The children may have acquired this knowledge in a previous lesson, unit of work or even a previous year group. This task is designed to strengthen our pupils’ memories of key knowledge, enabling them to permanently remember and make progress across the curriculum.

Vocabulary:

Children will be introduced to key vocabulary (STAR words) at the beginning of the lesson. Children will be challenged to learn the meaning of these words and apply them correctly during the lesson. Teachers will provide children with actions to match each of these words, to support the children in remembering them.

Teach:

The teacher will share the core knowledge for the lesson with the children. This is an opportunity for children to listen to and understand the new information. UKS2 children will take notes.

Partner Talk:

Children will work with a partner to complete a short task or discuss new information. Children will be expected to apply their understanding of the new information taught (they may even use the STAR words!).

Independent Task:

The children will now work independently on a task. This is often a written task that will require the children to apply everything they have learned. The children may also demonstrate newly acquired skills in this part of the lesson. 

Read

In every lesson, our children will read. The reading can be incorporated into any aspect of the lesson. Children will read a range of texts, from online blogs to information texts! We believe reading is the key to all learning, so have therefore made reading a priority in every lesson. 

 

What do we expect to achieve through our history curriculum? 

 

By the end of KS1, our pupils will:

  • Ask and answer questions about the past
  • Be able to name British Kings and Queens of the past
  • Understand some ways we find out about the past, e.g. photographs and written sources
  • Know about the lives of significant individuals in the past, e.g. King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell (Y1)
  • Identify similarities and differences between ways of life at different times
  • Know about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally and globally, e.g. the Magna Carta (Y1)
  • Know the dates at which people and events they study fit within a chronological framework
  • Relate their historical understanding to other subjects they have studied
  • Use a wide vocabulary of historical terms
  • Know about the achievements of a civilisation, e.g. Ancient Egypt (Y2)

 

By the end of KS2, our pupils will:

  • Describe social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity in Britain and the wider world, e.g. Baghdad (Y5)
  • Develop further knowledge of British Kings and Queens, e.g. Tudors (Y5)
  • Develop further understanding of the substantive concepts
  • Develop appropriate use of historical terms and apply them across a range of concepts
  • Construct informed, detailed written responses that involve organisation of relevant historical information and show an awareness of key vocabulary
  • Explain how significant events, people and developments had impact in the past and in the present day, e.g. World War 1 and World War 2 (Y6)
  • Explain diverse experiences, beliefs and attitudes of men, women and children in past societies, e.g. Suffragettes (Y6)
  • Know about the lives of significant individuals in the past, e.g. Henry VIII (Y3)
  • Know about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally and globally, and the wider impact, e.g. War of the Roses (Y4); the Abolition of Slavery (Y5)
  • Know the dates at which people and events they study fit within a chronological framework
  • Relate their historical understanding to other subjects they have studied.

 

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