At Sunnyside Primary Academy we aim to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence. Through our scheme of work, we aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British, and local history and recognise how things have changed over time.
Our teaching of History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. Our scheme of work aims to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology, making connections over periods of time, and developing a chronologically secure knowledge of History.
We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries. To prepare pupils for their future learning in History, our scheme aims to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society, and culture.
Our scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the Understanding the world Development matters statements and Early learning goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further history learning in Key stage 1. This is driven through our four curriculum pillars.
Striving for Excellence:
In our primary History curriculum, we encourage our pupils to strive for excellence by fostering a deep curiosity about the past and a dedication to rigorous inquiry. We believe that a commitment to excellence in history means not just memorizing dates and events, but actively engaging with historical narratives, analyzing primary sources, and honing critical thinking skills. Through interactive lessons, research, and lively discussions, we empower our pupils to ask probing questions, seek out different perspectives, and construct well-supported arguments. By instilling this passion for historical excellence, we aim to cultivate pupils who not only understand the significance of the past but are also well-prepared to be informed, empathetic, and critically thinking citizens of the future.
In our primary History curriculum, we place a strong emphasis on developing a rich and diverse vocabulary. We understand that a robust historical vocabulary is essential for our pupils to engage deeply with the past and effectively communicate their historical knowledge. Through a variety of engaging activities, including reading historical texts, analyzing primary sources, and participating in classroom discussions, our pupils build a comprehensive vocabulary that allows them to articulate historical concepts, events, and themes with precision. This linguistic proficiency not only enhances their understanding of history but also equips them with valuable communication skills that will serve them well in both their academic and personal lives.
In our primary History curriculum, we believe in building a strong sense of community among our pupils by fostering a shared passion for understanding the past. Through working together, group discussions, and interactive learning experiences, we encourage our pupils to explore historical narratives together, share their perspectives, and appreciate the diversity of historical viewpoints. This sense of community not only enriches their learning journey but also helps them develop essential social and communication skills. We aim to create a supportive environment where every student's voice is valued and where history becomes a collective exploration, nurturing a deeper understanding of our shared human story.
Expanding Cultural Experiences:
In our primary History curriculum, we are committed to expanding our pupils' cultural experiences by introducing them to a wide array of historical narratives from different time periods and regions of the world. We believe that history is a lens through which we can gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and diversity of human cultures. By exploring various historical contexts, traditions, and societal perspectives, our pupils not only broaden their horizons but also develop empathy and cultural sensitivity. This exposure encourages them to embrace the complexities of our global heritage, fostering a deeper understanding of how different cultures have contributed to the tapestry of human history. Ultimately, we aim to cultivate open-minded, globally aware individuals who can appreciate and respect the cultural experiences of people from all walks of life.
To meet the aims of the National curriculum for History and in response to the Ofsted Research review into History, we have identified the following key strands, informed by the Kapow Framework:
The scheme emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram above. These strands are interwoven through all our history units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do. Each six-lesson unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. In EYFS, children explore the concept of history by reflecting on key experiences from their own past, helping them understand that they each have their own histories. Then, they engage in activities to compare characters from stories, including historical figures, deepening their understanding of how individual lives fit into broader historical narratives. Children will further develop their awareness of the past in Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying connections, contrasts, and trends over time. The timeline supports children in developing this chronological awareness.
There are two EYFS units focused on each of the history-related Development matters statements. These units consist of a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activities which can be selected by the teacher to fit in with Reception class themes or topics. In Key stage 1 and 2, units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to follow the enquiry cycle (Question, Investigate, Interpret, Evaluate, and conclude, Communicate) when answering historical questions. Over the course of the scheme, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
• Change and continuity.
• Cause and consequence.
• Similarities and differences.
• Historical significance.
• Historical interpretations.
• Sources of evidence.
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As children progress through the units of work, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed. Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion, and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, clearly identified in Lower key stage 2, and revisited in Upper key stage 2 (see Progression of skills and knowledge) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History.
We follow a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods. History in Action videos explain the careers and work of those in history and heritage-related fields. Historians, archivists, archaeologists, museum curators, teachers and heritage experts discuss their love of history, how they became interested in the subject, how they got into their jobs and what their jobs involve.
Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge, and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts, concepts, and vocabulary.
The impact of teaching can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past. The expected impact will be:
- Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies, and the achievements of mankind.
- Develop a historically grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
- Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity, and differences.
- Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
- Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
- Ask historically valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
- Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
- Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
- Meet the relevant Early Learning Goals at the end of EYFS (Reception) and the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History at the end of Key stage 1 and 2.