History

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Marcus Garvey

At Longmoor, we have a strong, knowledge-rich curriculum in place. This is why we have opted to use a Humanities programme for teaching History called Opening Worlds. The programme exceeds the demand of the National Curriculum for History. This programme is taught at KS2 and we are adapting our KS1 planning to create a bespoke curriculum that feeds into this scheme from Y3 onwards. Both have been sequenced coherently to ensure that learning builds upon previous learning, giving children the opportunity to make links and connections wherever possible. We are meticulous in the substantive (to know that…) and disciplinary (to know how…) knowledge that forms our History curriculum, ensuring that at all times knowledge is ambitiously broad in scope, rigour, coherence and its sequence of learning. We ensure that progress in History occurs through the build-up of secure chronology and historically-connected narratives. Subsequently, pupils gain security in a rich, broad vocabulary through systematic introduction, sustained practice and deliberate revisiting.

Curriculum Intent

The uniqueness and background of every child at Longmoor is recognised and valued. Because of this, our curriculum covers a range of cultural, historical and ethical backgrounds and offers purposeful and meaningful experiences to apply, share and develop this knowledge. Our diverse, culturally rich and wide-scoping curriculum is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values in a rigorous and coherent way. Explicit links to storytelling and creativity are made to engage and enthuse learners.  Many enhancement activities are used throughout the curriculum to engage learners and create purposeful, high leverage outcomes that give children the opportunity to use and apply their developing knowledge and skills. Our aim is to create an environment that prompts curiosity, critical thinking and allows learners to connect strands of learning across all aspects of the curriculum.

Threads of Learning

A wide variety of themes and threads are woven throughout our History curriculum. For example, ‘Monarchy’ is a concept that we return to again and again, and their knowledge of what Monarchy is gets greater as they progress through the school. Furthermore, earlier stories and descriptions of places at particular times allows children to:

  • Recognise themes such as art and architecture, government and politics, belief systems, economy and culture and to be interested in new instances of the same theme, by discerning continuities and contrasts across time and space
  • Understand references to people, places and developments that have a bearing on the later people, places, events and developments

Progress in our History programme occurs through the build-up of secure chronology and historically connected narratives. Earlier stories and descriptions of places at particular times allow pupils in later units to:

  • Know what happened in those settings.
  • Understand references to people, places, events and developments that have a bearing on the later people, places, events and developments.

For example:

Pupils can swiftly access…

The geographical territory conquered by Alexander the Great in Alexander the Great

(Y3 Summer 2)

The motivations and concerns of the Arab rulers of al-Andalus in Cordoba: city of light

(Y4 Summer 1)

Because of earlier content in:

Cradles of Civilisation (Y3 Spring 2), especially…

 

the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, the fertile land around them, the relationship between farming settlements and early cities, including emergence of law, government and art

Islam in Arabia (Y4 Summer 1) especially …

 

how Islam spread; the military and cultural contexts of nomadic and city life in Arabia, the distinctive religious beliefs and practices of the first Arab Muslims

Cultural Capital

Multi-culturalism across the globe, and especially in Britain, is probably the most salient and constant theme of our History programme. The study of ancient civilisation is fundamental to understanding what unites rather than divides us, while also celebrating its diverse manifestations. The cradle of civilisations taught in Year 3 – from where Jews, Christians and Muslims all emerge – points to our common ancestry, to how valued traditions emerge, to the bigger patterns of human interaction.

The very strong central thread of multi-cultural Britain is woven throughout the history programmes, so that by Year 6, sophisticated studies of the diversity of London, especially the contributions of diverse communities to the arts, is possible. Throughout our History programme, multi-cultural settings and multi-cultural Britain are carefully taught so that pupils can see the bigger picture and respect complexity in their enquiries.

Curriculum Implementation
Reading

Our Opening Worlds programme is known to have rapid and discernible effects on literacy. History lessons at our school build a wide and secure vocabulary that underpins literacy and all successful communication. We know that pupils only read with fluency when they have adequate prototypes for abstract words and phrases, and when their densely structured schemata allow them to ‘chunk’ the incoming text for meaning. Through story-telling and reading of the vocabulary-rich pupil booklets, children get continuous, focused practice in reading and writing.

Pupils’ reading and writing is richly grounded in stimulating Historical content in which pupils will be increasingly secure, and always driven by a clear disciplinary purpose. Every history lesson is therefore a lesson playing a central part in improving reading, even when a text is not actually being read. Pupils’ extended speaking and writing is likewise transformed by the richly diverse vocabulary and the secure, fascinating stories that have underpinned that vocabulary acquisition.

The Early Years

History in the Early Years Foundation Stage is taught under the umbrella of ‘Understanding the World’ from the EYFS framework. Children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that helps them to make sense of the world. The pupils are encouraged to talk about their families and past and present events in their lives. They will being to gain knowledge and understanding of the world.

Children at the expected level of development will be able to talk about the lives of people around them and their roles in society. They will know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been taught in class. Children will understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling. Below are some examples of how to support this:

  1. Talk about members of their immediate family and community
    During dedicated talk time, listen to what children say about their family; share information about your own family, giving children time to ask questions or make comments; encourage children to share pictures of their family and listen to what they say about the pictures. Using examples from real life and from books, show children how there are many different families.
  2. Name and describe people who are familiar to them
    Talk about people that the children may have come across within their community, such as the police, the fire service, doctors and teachers. Listen to what children say about their own experiences with people who are familiar to them.
  3. Comment on images of familiar situations in the past
    Present children with pictures, stories, artefacts and accounts from the past, explaining similarities and differences. Offer hands-on experiences that deepen children’s understanding, such as visiting a local area that has historical importance. Show images of familiar situations in the past, such as homes, schools, and transport. Look for opportunities to observe children talking about experiences that are familiar to them and how these may have differed in the past. Offer opportunities for children to begin to organise events using basic chronology, recognising that things happened before they were born.
  4. Compare and contrast characters from stories including figures from the past
    Frequently share texts, images, and tell oral stories that help children begin to develop an understanding of the past and present. Feature fictional and non-fictional characters from a range of cultures and times in storytelling, listen to what children say about them. Draw out common themes from stories, such as bravery, difficult choices and kindness, and talk about children’s experiences with these themes. In addition to storytelling, introduce characters, including those from the past, using songs, poems, puppets, role play and other storytelling methods.
Recall & Retrieval Strategies

Our History curriculum makes the most of the natural contours of the subject and is highly systematic. It is systematic about teasing out the stories, vocabulary and ideas which need to abide in memory. Teachers make sure they abide in memory through random quizzing and deliberate retrieval practice. Pupils will also revisit key vocabulary and knowledge in natural narrative contexts, enabling them to embed this information into long term memory.

Pupils can access the rich, extended text in the booklets because all new vocabulary is pre-taught and practised through direct instruction and engaging story-telling. Coherent and tight sequencing enables thorough knowledge-building. The systematic introduction and revisiting of new vocabulary that takes place has a rapid impact on literacy and fosters independence, allowing pupils to read and access the knowledge from booklets themselves as and when needed. Teachers make efficient use of lesson time, blending sharp, sustained practice with structured reflection.

Prior introduction, deliberate practice and contextualised use of particular vocabulary allows pupils in subsequent units to:

  • recognise vocabulary instantly when they meet it again, thus not crowding their working memory, and thereby making space for learning new vocabulary.
  • hear the vocabulary used in new contexts and thus appreciate that the meaning of certain words is not fixed and will shift and change according to setting;
  • gain new abstract, generalising words as a result of specific prior examples which act as prototypes for those examples
Our Values

Determination

Children repeatedly learn about significant individuals throughout History who demonstrated great determination. For example, in Y3 Summer 2 children learn about Alexander the Great and are explicitly taught the word ‘determination’ to describe his character. They learn about what this means and how he demonstrated this trait. The booklet talks about how “Some of Alexander’s men thought the river was flowing too fast for them to cross, but Alexander was determined.”

Respect

Multi-culturalism across the globe, and especially in Britain is probably the most salient and constant theme of our History programme. The study of ancient civilisations is fundamental to understanding what unites rather than divides us, while also celebrating its diverse manifestations. Throughout our History programme, multi-cultural settings and multi-cultural Britain are carefully taught so that pupils can see the bigger picture and respect complexity in their enquiries.

This knowledge and understanding encourages them to have respect for people who may be different to them.

Integrity

Through learning about a variety of leaders and Historical figures through time, children at our school understand the importance of integrity as an important trait for success. They will understand what happens when such individuals do not possess this trait and identify situations that demand integrity.

Valour

During History lessons, children learn about an array of men and women throughout History who demonstrated courage and bravery and stood up for what is right. For example Alexander the Great and Boudica. This in turn, inspires the children to believe in themselves and demonstrate the same qualities in their work and life at Longmoor.

Excellence

At Longmoor, we strive for excellence in all areas of learning and this is no different for History. Children encounter and are specifically taught advanced vocabulary which they are then able to use in their History work and wider writing opportunities.  Children’s work is detailed and thorough and teachers set high expectations for pupils in lessons.

British Values

British values, including those of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are embedded in the History curriculum. Students explore the first known democracy in the world in their first lesson on Ancient Greeks in Y3. Children understand the origins of democracy in these lessons and learn this word as part of their key vocabulary. This enables the students to understand how, overtime, changes happened and to evaluate their impact. By looking at the achievements of famous British people (KS1), students develop an awareness of how they have influenced and shaped the country in which we live. Teaching students to respect and value diversity is encouraged in the day to day teaching and learning through showing respect for different viewpoints and ideas as well as in the ability to work effectively together both individually and in groups.

SMSC Education
Spiritual During our History lessons, teachers foster the mystery of how and why events in the past happened and their many causes. Children realise the incredible significance that some individuals have had in the past and how historical knowledge changes with new evidence and different interpretations of events.
Moral Pupils are encouraged to comment on moral questions and dilemmas from the past. This helps children to empathise with the decisions which ordinary people made at the time, based on their historical situation. Children begin to develop open mindedness when considering the actions and decisions of people from the past.
Social During History lessons, pupils are encouraged to think about what past societies have contributed to our culture today. Promoting pupils own social development through working together and problem solving. Children explore the similarities and contrasts between past and present societies and will be made aware of how, in the main, we are very fortunate to live in ‘the modern world’
Cultural Children develop a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, European and world history. They gain an understanding of and empathy with, people from different cultural backgrounds. Lessons also examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ’British’ culture.
Experiences
Provision

Y2- Stone Age. External provider coming in to deliver History workshop.

Y3- Ancient Egypt. Trip to Liverpool World Museum- children participate in ‘Meet the Mummy’ and ‘Discover Ancient Egypt’ workshops as well as visit the Ancient Egypt exhibition.

Y3- Ancient Greece– Trip to the Walker Art Gallery for ‘Storytelling with the Greeks’. This can be combined with a trip next door to the World Museum to visit the Ancient Greece exhibit.

Y4- Roman Republic & The Roman Empire. Visit to the Deva Roman Discovery Centre.

Y5- Anglo Saxon and Viking workshop. Liverpool World Museum.

Enrichment Black History Month and Women in History workshop (external provider).

Curriculum
Overview
English
Maths
Science
Computing
History
Geography
Religion
Spanish
Art
Design Technology
PE
PSHE/SRE