History is held in high regard at Maple Grove Primary School. The school’s own rich history, within the context of the local area, is a celebrated and inspiring feature of the school. The history curriculum at Maple Grove draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.
In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Maple Grove aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past;
- Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement;
- Begin 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. History unit plans.
What is taught?
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children are provided with a combination of Continuous Provision, Enhanced Provision, and Directed Activities. These opportunities allow them to broaden and enrich their personal experiences while increasing their knowledge of both past and present.
As part of this learning experience, children are encouraged to speak with their parents, grandparents, and friends to learn about their family history and culture. Through a diverse selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes, and poems, they also gain an understanding of the socially and culturally diverse world we live in. This helps them learn about the differences between people, while also recognising that we share similar characteristics and ideas. Overall, this is the first step towards understanding the past and developing a well-rounded worldview.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at Maple Grove is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. Children will study past civilisations from Britain -starting with the Stone Age in Year 3 up to and including World War 2 in Year 6. They will look at civilisations from around the world including The Ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Vikings and discuss what we have learnt from these times. Children in Key Stage 1 will learn about the lives of significant historical figures as well as the history of toys and the seaside.
History is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each block have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. At the beginning of each new history topic, teachers refer to classroom timelines to develop children’s understanding of chronology. Each topic is introduced with reference to the chronology of previous topics (including those from previous years).
History at Maple Grove is taught through key questions and a project learning approach. Children are presented with an overarching key question for a topic. This will be launched though a ‘stunning start’ to immerse children in the topic content and get them thirsty to learn more.
Each subsequent lesson starts with a sub-question through which children will develop their knowledge and skills. The finale will be a ‘show stopping’ ending where the children create a piece that brings together their knowledge of the unit in a ‘real-life’ purposeful way. We will introduce the idea of ‘legacy’ to explore what we have learnt from this topic that we can apply to our lives today.
Key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked and consolidated by the teacher. 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.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the school’s progression mapping. The school’s own context is also considered, with opportunities for visits to places of historical interest and learning outside the classroom also identified and embedded in practice. Visits to the local area and use of local artefacts, such as the use of maps and photographs of bomb damage to the local area in WWII, also support contextualised learning, as well as the acquisition of key knowledge and systematic development of key skills.