Writtle Infant School offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons to help class teachers ensure they have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. We believe that the study of history should start with the individual and expand across the school to include the history of the local area and the celebration of events and people who are historically significant. For example pupils enjoyed learning about the centenary of the first radio transmission by Marconi in Writtle and joined in with the local community celebrations in Writtle. We aim to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip children for future learning. These key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units, are: continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference and significance. The coverage of recent history in KS1 such as ‘Toys’ and ‘Schools’ enables children to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory and their parents’ and grandparents’ memories. We have designed a curriculum that allows a full opportunity for children to really grasp the difficult concept of the passing of time.
In EYFS we explore the concept of the child’s own history; their parents, their birthdays and significant events in their own lives. As the children move into KS1 they begin to expand their knowledge to explore changes within living memory and events beyond living memory. In KS1, we use a cross curriculum approach to introduce our topics using the ‘Just Imagine’ series of books. In order for children to know more and remember more in each area of history studied, there is a structure to the lesson sequence whereby prior learning is always considered and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into lessons. It allows for this revision to become part of good practice and ultimately helps build a depth to children’s historical understanding. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lessons help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenges. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each lesson. Through these lessons, we intend to inspire pupils to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.
The impact of our curriculum will be seen across the school. The study of history will deepen pupils’ feelings of being part of a wider Writtle community. The learning environment across the school will be consistent with historical technical vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will be improved through the use of history-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning. We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge and understanding, now and in the future. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.