Charles Darwin Community Primary School
After 7 years of studying history at Charles Darwin pupils will learn how to:
- ask perceptive questions
- think critically
- develop perspective and judgement
- understand the process of change
- understand the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups
What this looks like at Charles Darwin
We teach history discretely as well as incorporating it in to other subjects for our themed week that involve the whole school. The children undertake a broad and balanced programme that takes account of abilities, aptitudes and physical, emotional and intellectual development. Through history the children learn a range of skills, concepts, attitudes and methods of working. We aim to offer a history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History is about real people who lived and real events which happened in the past. History fires the children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world and plays an essential part in preparing us for living and working in the contemporary world.
History is taught in Reception as an integral part of the topic work through child-initiated and adult led activities. The children are given the opportunity to find out about past and present events in their own lives, and those of their families and other people they know. In the Foundation stage history makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as looking at pictures of famous people in history or discovering the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives.
Key stage 1
In Key Stage 1 children will develop an awareness of the past. They will learn about significant individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements such as Amelia Earhart and Neil Armstrong. Children will also learn about significant historical events within the local area such as Robert Verdin. They will study changes within living memory (such as the Apollo 11 Space Mission) well as events beyond living memory that are nationally or globally significant such as The Great Fire of London.
Key stage 2
In Key Stage 2 children will continue to appreciate history in a chronological context. They will develop a secure understanding of British, local and world history. They will study a range of time periods such as Ancient Greece, Stone Age and World War Two. Children will consider connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They will also learn to understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of different sources and spend time looking at, and dealing with, different sources.
Each year group (1-6) uses similar methods of delivery to inspire and motivate children to understand and learn from the past. These include:
- Using artefacts and images as a WOW to the start of a topic as well as throughout the topic. Staff feel this will encourage the children to become history detectives by getting them to think about what the artefact is for, where it is from and how old it is. Artefacts help pupils’ question and understand the past and help bring the past to life.
- Use of ICT to support learning and ensure the curriculum is accessible for everyone.
- Using timelines to show children when in history (or pre-history) the events happened and if they happened at similar times to events in other parts of the world.
- Outreach intervention: inviting people into school to talk about; demonstrate or re-enact aspects or periods in history has the effect of bringing history alive to the children and provides them with a more visual view of the topic they are covering.
- Using other resources: secondary sources such as books and photographs, listen to and interact with stories from the past, undertake fieldwork (e.g. by interviewing family and older friends about changes in their own and other people’s lives), use drama and dance to act out historical events, use resources from the internet and videos, use non-fiction books for research and ask and answer historical questions.
Making History accessible to all
At Charles Darwin subject leaders and teachers work together to ensure History is accessible to all. We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies which are differentiated in the main by expected outcome and/or support from peers or adults. Provision is according to pupils needs.
Whole school initiatives
At Charles Darwin, we engage in at least one whole-school history project per year. These projects are sparked by a whole-school visit or national/international event to engage the children and are followed by a series of lessons ending in corridor displays, writing exhibitions and performances. More recent projects include WW1 and some have seen links formed with local museums such as Anderton Boat Lift and The Lion Salt Works. These projects have inspired art work and writing as well as developing an interest in the local area.
Cross Curricular Opportunity
History contributes to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Likewise, the children are required to transfer skills from English lessons into their topic writing.
It contributes to children's mathematical understanding in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through activities such as creating time–lines and through sequencing events in their own lives. They also study different number systems from past cultures e.g Roman numerals.
History contributes to the teaching of PSHE as debate and discussion are a valued means of teaching and learning. We help children to develop their knowledge and understanding of different cultures, so that they learn to avoid stereotyping other people, and acquire a positive attitude towards others. In our teaching of history, we contribute where possible to the children’s spiritual development. It also contributes to the children’s appreciation of what is right and wrong by raising many moral questions. Information and communication technology enhances our teaching of history wherever appropriate.
Assessment and Recording
At Charles Darwin School assessment is an integral part of the teaching process. Assessment is used to inform planning and to facilitate differentiation. The assessment of children’s work is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved and that progress is being made. Feedback is given to the children as soon as possible and marking work will be guided by the school’s Marking Policy.
Monitoring will take place in the form of termly scrutiny of 3 of the following areas:
- sampling a range of children’s work (of varying ability) in books or on display
- teacher planning
- learning walks when history is taking place
- pupil voice
Roles and Responsibilities
The subject is led by N. Wharton, H. Ball & C. Kenyon and each year time is set aside to review standards and monitor curriculum provision and ensure training and resources are up to date.
We have a wide range of text books and interactive boards to access the internet as a class. The school subscribe to The Historical Association website. Visits are planned to enhance learning and give hands on activity. People with an interest, or expertise, in a particular topic or area of history could be invited into school to work with the children. These might be parents, grandparents, other family members, neighbours or representatives of the local community.
From Reception to Y6 Charles Darwin enjoy developing the skills, knowledge and vocabulary associated with the process of change. They 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. Children learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Local area studies as well as national and international anniversaries are effectively used to bring history to life.