Our History Subject leader:
We aim to bring history to life at Towngate by immersing children in realistic experiences both in school and on exciting educational visits linked to our topic areas. Children have a real understanding of their place in history and concepts of when events happened in relation to each other are reinforced.
At Towngate Primary Academy, our History curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity about the past. We are determined that alongside historical knowledge there will be a high focus on the development of specific historical skills through discrete History lessons to ensure children know more and remember more.
The teaching of history in our academy is intended to equip pupils to ask questions about the past, analyse evidence, think critically, appreciate different perspectives and develop informed judgements through our knowledge, analyse and create planning sequence.
History is delivered as a discrete subject and wherever possible cross curricular links are exploited, particularly links with British values, our values based learning and SMSC. However, teachers make it explicit to the children that they are learning history skills and encourage them to think like ‘historians.’
Our History curriculum covers the skills outlined in the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring themes. Progression is planned in knowledge, skills and vocabulary so that pupils by the end of year 6 have the cultural capital to be successful in History in their secondary school. The progression grid carefully builds on prior learning so that children can make sense of the subject. Progression allows for sensible cross curricular links to be made.
History is taught within a discrete theme. Medium term plans ensure coverage of both the required knowledge and the subject specific skills. Individual sessions are planned to inspire, engage and challenge pupils in response to their needs. Children are given a wide variety of experiences both in the classroom and out. We encourage school visits and visitors into school to enable the children to gain first hand experiences to support their learning.
Pupils are encouraged to think like historians and develop their skills including historical enquiry. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s other skills such as understanding of chronology, interpretations of evidence, changes within a time and across time periods and cause and consequence.
Classes have a Rapid Recall quiz weekly to recap previous learning and vocabulary. During lessons children are exposed to history specific vocabulary and taught these through repetition and meaningful use. Flash cards are used to recap and reinforce previously taught vocabulary. Opportunities are planned to study key historical people and their significance.
Learning walls specific to history themes are used in lessons to highlight key knowledge and vocabulary. Timeline lines are used within the classroom to refer back to previous learning and develop chronological understanding and order of events. Both fiction and non-fiction texts are used to develop children’s historical understanding and links to our book-led curriculum. Book are displayed under working walls for children and access and a range of non-fiction texts are available in reading areas.
Our curriculum is enhanced through Wakefield museum workshops and studying historical artefacts. Visits and visitors are planned to enhance children’s understanding and knowledge of the theme. Local walks are planned where to appropriate in order to link their historical learning to changes within their own local area.
History is assessed through teacher judgement and monitored by the subject leader. Progression grids and pupil voice supports teachers in making accurate judgements of what the children know.
History is monitored by the subject leader throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinises, lesson observations, staff discussions and pupil interviews. Feedback is given to teachers and leaders use the information to see if the children know more and remember more.
Sources and artefacts:
These are some of the comments pupils have made about History at Towngate Academy:
"We get to ask lots of questions about key people. My favourite was learning about Florence Nightingale and how she helped look after injured people. Now we have the NHS." Year 1
"We enjoy learning about the past and finding out how people used to live." Year 1
"We are curious in all our lessons because we always want to find out more." Year 2
"We use different sources to find out information and facts about historical events. My favourite was learning about the Ancient Greeks." Year 3
"In our lessons we ask lots of questions. It is really interesting learning about the past and life before we were alive." Year 3
"History helps us to discover why the world is like it is today from past events. We learn using artefacts, photographs and visitors who help us understand what it was like before we were born. " Year 4
"We want to keep using our curiosity to know more about the past. We can ask questions to find out new things. My teacher sorts trips for us to go on so we can experience life in the past." Year 4
"In History, we show perseverance when we are trying to find out information and if we can't find it straight away we need to keep trying." Year 5
"People visit buildings and museums to find out about History. This allows people opportunities to discover more about History. When we've learnt History in school we tell family and friends about it and then we might get to visit new places to learn more about what we have learnt in school." Year 5
"We've learnt to be tolerant of other people's views when we are discussing History. We know that some sources are more trustworthy than others so we have to be careful when using primary and secondary sources to research." Year 6
"In our learning we have opportunities to use democracy to ensure everyone has an opportunity to have their say. We sometimes vote and know people can vote to share their opinion. Some people in the past haven't had the same chance or rights to vote - even now in some countries people still can't. " Year 6
"I think it's important to remember key people in history - like Harriet Tubman and how she used her courage to save others. We learnt that Mary Prince wrote about her experience of slavery- like Anne Frank when she went into hiding and wrote about it in her diary." Year 6.
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