'A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.'
- Marcus Garvey
'It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.'
- Maya Angelou
The History Curriculum at Spinney Hill
At Spinney Hill Primary School, we recognise the importance of developing pupils’ understanding of Britain’s past and igniting their interest in the history of the wider world in order that they become historians and are able to make sense of the world they live in through making sense of the past. Through our carefully designed and sequenced enquiry-driven curriculum, children explore history through discussion, debate and structured argument and are constantly encouraged to think critically about why historical events occurred, the impact they had at the time and how they have shaped the world we live in today. This we know develops both children’s substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge, and gives them the capacity to construct historical arguments and analyse sources alongside developing a secure understanding of chronology and the significance of both different periods in history and the key figures within them.
Support and Grow - How we teach history
The history curriculum at Spinney Hill is planned and delivered based on the guidance and programmes of study from the National Curriculum. The curriculum has been designed to allow children to make links between new and prior knowledge. As children move through the school and onto the next stage of their learning, prior historical learning is used as the springboard into new areas of study and connections made with key themes, concepts and vocabulary that children will have previously encountered. Teachers identify links and connecting themes with previous units of work, and with the use of knowledge organisers and retrieval sessions to support, allow children to reactivate and embed ‘old knowledge’ whilst developing the new. As children progress, the retention of new learning is assisted through completion of the unit learning journey where children discuss and revise what they have learned and record this against a reminder of the enquiry question which led learning and the vocabulary covered. As in all lessons, children are encouraged to discuss, question, reason and present their understanding and interpretation through scaffolded discussion and debate. Where possible, children are challenged to think critically around and beyond the immediate area of study – often spurred on by purposefully controversial questions. In all lessons, teachers support the teaching of history through stories, poetry and activities which ‘feed-in’ the facts and promote discussion. As children progress through each component lesson, their understanding of key historical figures grows as they look critically at their achievements and actions, as well as exploring those men and women whose contributions have been written out of history, particularly women and those from a BAME background. At all points of learning, children relate events to both their lives and currents events. By the end of a series of lessons, interspersed with retrieval sessions, children have the knowledge to answer the ‘big question’ which each lessons’ enquiry question sequentially leads up to. Where possible, learning is further supported by historical trips, workshops and use of the local area.
Achieve - How we ensure children are ready for the next stage in their learning
The impact of our history curriculum is carefully measured in a variety of different ways. Learning walks, book sampling, analysis of learning journeys and monitoring of learning environments are carried out by the subject leaders to identify how ready children are for the next stage in their learning and areas in need of development. Subject leaders also conduct pupil interviews to ensure pupils are retaining prior-learning and making connections with what they are currently learning. In addition to this, each child’s progress is monitored by class teachers who assess them against our milestones. Teachers also create ‘impact’ pages on teams to provide a snap-shot of learning to reflect both what has been covered and to illustrate what children are capable of achieving.