History begins in the early years, building carefully through children’s own lived experience to that of their parents and grandparents. You will see this in practice, where children have discussed an object from their own past and compared it to what they do today, where children start to explore deeper into the past, but still in a way that is relatable to them. This is the start of understanding historical sources of evidence.
From KS1, we teach history through an enquiry-based approach. Skills, knowledge and vocabulary are planned for and extended through progressive enquiries through the school, where ‘historian’ is a lead or supporting ‘state of being’
We want our children to connect with historical periods through a meaningful context. Therefore we don’t teach periods such as ‘Romans’ or ‘Ancient Greece’ in isolation, but rather through a context that gives meaning to the learning. For example, when questioning ‘What if Stanbridge walls could talk?’ pupils will learn about both Roman and Anglo-Saxon times in Great Britain and independently create ‘talking heads’ to show what they have learnt. Similarly in later KS2, our children learn about ancient civilisations and a non-European society through questioning ‘How can we show what we believe in?’ and about the influence of Ancient Greece on the western world.
During enquiries, teachers use ongoing assessment for learning to identify pupils not making good progress with the historical knowledge being explored and address this. At the end of enquiries, we exit quizzes to demonstrate retention of knowledge. We are developing this area across our entire wider curriculum.