At St James’s C.E. Primary School, we believe that high-quality History lessons inspire children to want to know more about the past and to thank and act as historians. Our history curriculum seeks to give children a solid foundation and broad overview in some of the most important periods, events and themes in British and world history. It is comprehensive but necessarily selective. The curriculum gives pupils a strong grounding in British history as well as local history. In Key Stage 2, our history curriculum is taught chronologically from the first settlements through Roman Britain, the Viking, Anglo-Saxons, the medieval period and up to the Industrial Revolution and touching on Britain during the two world wars.
While studying these periods the units explore themes of change and continuity, perspective and power. The units exploring world history have been carefully selected to provide local and global coverage and introduce a number of themes.
We have worked closely with Historic England to carefully plan our curriculum to ensure that children learn about the importance of the area in which they are growing up. Pupils will have a sense of pride instilled in them regarding the significance of the Black Country and its role in the industrial revolution. Making use of the wealth of local sites of interest, children will learn about why our area is known as the Black Country and the Crystal Mile and will speak confidently about what they know of life here in the past. It is not only substantive knowledge that is taught. The disciplinary skills of history, such as source analysis, interpretation, perspective, continuity and change are all explicitly taught and practised. Children then apply these skills and knowledge learnt.
Our curriculum is ambitious and regularly reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the children, challenging them to make connections across time and place and we hope sets children up with a life-long love and understanding of an important subject, while providing a foundation of understanding that will make them curious, active citizens locally, nationally and globally.
We believe that the following are essential characteristics that will support children to become historians:
An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of audiences.
The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas and confidently to a range of audiences.
The ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources.
The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past by formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning.
A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
A developing sense of curiosity about the past and how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
Our curriculum aims to ensure that pupils become increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking. They will make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. In addition, they will become increasingly aware of how historical events have shaped the world in which they are growing up. Pupils will develop enquiry skills to pursue their own interests within a topic and consider further questions that they want to find the answers to. Where applicable, high-quality visits and visitors will support children’s understanding and provide context to learning. Our curriculum aims to ensure that children retain prior learning and explicitly make connections between what they have previously learnt and what they are currently learning.