History at St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School
At St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, we shape our history curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that encompasses the British Values throughout; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to study life in the past.
The aim of history teaching here at St Mary’s Bryanston Square 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. At St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, we aim for a high quality history curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world; know and understand about significant aspects of the history of the wider world like ancient civilisations and empires; changes in living memory and beyond living memory; learn about the lives of significant people of the past; understand the methods of historical enquiry and be able to ask and answer questions. We want children to enjoy and love learning about history by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. History is taught as part of a half-termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. At St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, we ensure that History has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. Within our curriculum we have identified the key knowledge and skills of each area of history and consideration has been given to ensure progression across these areas throughout each year group. By the end of year 6, children will 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 studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Egyptians.
History teaching at St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources, and give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching, and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways, and that they should always ask searching questions (e.g. ‘How do we know?’) about information they are given. Emphasis is placed on the development of skills and a historical perspective alongside factual knowledge.
We ensure that children at St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School, are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. Outcomes in topic and literacy books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review the agreed successes at the end of every session and are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas, with support from their teachers. Children are also asked what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic.
Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and are curious to know more about the past. Through this study, pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.