Communication, Language and Literacy
History Curriculum Intent
Our bespoke history curriculum has been designed so that all learners have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. Our curriculum is a text-led based so that the knowledge gained is always in context. We aim to provide all the necessary tools for future learning and employment our children may require. Our learners study the National Curriculum (2014) as a basic entitlement, but our creative approach provided enrichment beyond this, beginning in EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. We have a unique setting and we have based our curriculum on four key cornerstones: communication and language, city living, aspirations and celebrating diversity.
To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our history curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. This would begin in EYFS with the children understanding the concept of past, present and future through child-centred learning. The skills and progression would focus on chronological understanding; historical understanding; historical enquiry; interpretations of history; organisation and communication. These are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge. When covering each of these strands, the content will be carefully organised by each year group through a long-term plan. Content knowledge, vocabulary and skills will then be planned for in order to build upon prior learning and depth of coverage in the medium-term plan. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme. Meaningful links with other subjects are constantly made to strengthen connections and allow deeper exploration and understanding for pupils (communication, language and literacy cornerstone).
We are fortunate enough to be located just beyond Manchester city centre, which brings with it a wealth of cultural opportunities. The school has ensured that each unit has an experiential element (excursion, visitors, hook) to excite the children (city living cornerstone). As a federation, we believe creating links with local universities and inspirational people within all subject fields will inspire the children, to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It involves understanding the process of change, the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and society today (aspirations cornerstone). As Manchester is one of the most culturally diverse cites in the UK, and across our two schools children speak more than 40 languages (some of whom have travelled through several countries before settling in Britain) we endeavour to provide purposeful and natural links to British values and discussions around being good UK and global citizens during their learning. Our history curriculum promotes the rich diversity of the world, Britain and an appreciation of our locality (celebrating diversity cornerstone).
“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
Purpose of study
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets] or the content indicated as being ‘non-statutory’.
- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society
- Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling;
Key stage 1
Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know 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 should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should 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.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below, teachers are often introducing pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2 and 3.
Pupils should 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, the first aeroplane 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 should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods [for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell]
- significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
Key stage 2
Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.
Pupils should be taught about:
- changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
Celebrations- Black History Month
What is Black History Month??
Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.
Among the notable figures often spotlighted during Black History Month are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for equal rights for Blacks during the 1950s and ’60s; Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1967; Mae Jemison, who became the first female African-American astronaut to travel to space in 1992; and Barack Obama, who was elected the first-ever African-American president of the United States in 2008.