History at Bentinck Primary and Nursery School
At Bentinck, we believe that history is about making sense of who we are and where we’ve come from, beginning with local and personal history and widening to Europe and the world. Following our curriculum, children will study how our world has changed and developed over time and how it continues, building a sense of chronology and giving them an understanding of their place in the world.
Our curriculum is carefully planned using progression maps to ensure a comprehensive coverage of the National Curriculum objectives and maintain consistency across all year groups. Children are supported in building on their prior knowledge, ensuring a progressively deeper knowledge and understanding of history. While we study how Britain has been shaped and influenced by cultures from around the world, we will also seek to ensure that children from other cultures have a sense of their own history, making links to their home countries where appropriate.
We aim to enthuse and engage children through a well thought out selection of relevant and exciting topics and figures. Our curriculum traces how aspects of national history are reflected in the locality, promoting understanding of the connections between local, regional, national and international history.
Staff use of a wide variety of teaching methods to ensure that all children participate fully and enjoy history lessons, and encourage children to experiment with different ways of presenting their findings.
Ultimately, we aim to develop inquiring minds in our children, allowing them to understand the process of change, to see how we arrived ‘here’ and helping them to make sense of the present.
History topics in EYFS are linked to the Development Matters curriculum. A pre-planned progression map is used to ensure full coverage of the statements which lead to the Early Learning Goals within Past and Present. This progression map then aids staff decisions as to when to teach history objectives through topics and how best to support children in meeting the ELG. Staff aim to develop children’s understanding of time through lots of talk-based activities, allowing children opportunities to talk about their lives, their families and recent events. Stories are also used to spark discussion about historical figures and life in the past.
At the end of each term children are assessed in order to decide whether they are ‘below’, ‘working towards’ or ‘on track’ in this area of learning. We use our practitioner knowledge, observation sheets from taught sessions and observational notes from continuous provision to inform our assessment judgements.
Children from Years 1-6 are taught history using planning and resources adapted from the Key Stage History scheme. A minimum of two topics are taught each year, in an order planned to support children in building on their prior knowledge and making links and comparisons between periods.
Subject leads have developed a road map for each key stage, which shows the topics to be covered in each year group and the key questions for each unit. Questions are selected to ensure that all of the key question types are covered: characteristics, change, cause and effect, interpretation, enquiry and significance.
A simpler version of the roadmap is displayed in the books of KS2 children to help them to develop their ‘mental timeline’. Chronological knowledge and understanding is reinforced by timelines displayed in the school environment, showing where historical figures and events studied in other subjects belong in relation to historical periods they are aware of. Where appropriate, cross-curricular links and links to the local area are made.
End of unit assessment tasks, and pupil self-assessments, are used to determine whether children are working at, above or below age-related expectations in history.