History is all around us. The study of history ignites children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through finding out about how and why the world, our country, culture and local community have developed over time, children understand how the past influences the present. History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity and a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. What they learn through history can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. At St Mary and St Giles, our intent, when teaching history, is to stimulate the children’s curiosity in order for them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to become responsible citizens and flourish. It is underpinned by our curriculum drivers:
We strive to provide a range of opportunities to excite, motivate and enthuse our children. This includes curriculum days, visits and visitors such as visits to the Chiltern Open Air Museum and Roman Verulamium. We want our children to broaden their aspirations and make real life links to their learning.
We foster the natural curiosity of our children and support them to develop inquisitive thinking about their learning. Our curriculum is structured with many historical enquiries which enable the children to develop a range of historical skills and acquire new knowledge.
Language rich environments and lessons develop a rich vocabulary which we want our children to use confidently and accurately. We want to develop expressive and articulate young people who have a broad historical vocabulary.
We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. It is important that the children develop progressive skills of a historian throughout their time at St Mary and St Giles and do not just learn a series of facts about the past. In History, our pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusion. To do this successfully, as historians, they need to be able to research, interpret evidence, including primary and secondary sources, and have the necessary skills to argue for their point of view; skill that will help them in their adult life.
By the time the children at St Mary and St Giles leave our school they should have developed:
- A secure knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from the historical periods covered.
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
- The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, forming and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgements.
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.