Our Curriculum Leader for History is Melissa Pooley
National Curriculum Purpose of Study
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
At Houghton Primary School we are fortunate to be physically situated within an area of historical significance. Local places/people of interest include Houghton Mill (a working water mill), the river Great Ouse and its floodplain, the nearby Hemingford Manor House - the oldest continuously occupied house in Britain, the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell on our doorstep and being located near the ancient market towns of St Ives and Huntingdon. We therefore have planned our curriculum to ensure that this contextual history threads through our studies where and when appropriate.
We follow the National Curriculum History programmes of study, but aim to develop children’s historical knowledge and understanding through 3 key ‘golden threads’ in each history topic: Culture, Conflict and Change. Our key question approach to planning within each of these threads supports a progression of key knowledge over each key stage. This, together with clearly identified skills progression and a topic approach which makes good connections with other subjects, supports the development of our children’s knowledge and understanding within this subject.
We take every opportunity to ensure that our school curriculum drivers of oracy, diversity, community, environment and enquiry remain central to our approach for this subject area.
At Houghton Primary School we teach History through key questions which explore the unifying concepts (or ‘big ideas’) of culture, conflict and change. These concepts are the ‘golden threads’ which run through each historical topic we teach, whether it is a study of local, national or international history. For each key question we have identified the essential knowledge/facts that we will explore with the children and teach this hand-in-hand with a progression of skills which enable chronological understanding, knowledge and understanding of past events, people and changes in the past, historical interpretation, historical enquiry, and organisation and communication
Assessment of history skills is ongoing (formative) during lessons. Teachers use the skills statements to assess and use this responsively to support children as necessary.
At the end of each unit teachers assess children’s knowledge through low stakes quizzes and similar activities. Knowledge is revisited over the course of the year to support long term memory and retrieval.