“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” Theodore Roosevelt
At Elaine Primary School, our curriculum allows children to construct a deep understanding of the past and how time periods and events fit together into stories of the past. Our history curriculum encourages critical thinking, enhances children’s ability to evaluate evidence using a range of sources and to generate arguments. Above all, we want our pupils to be passionate about history and develop a love of learning in this subject discipline.
Our history curriculum is designed to foster wonder and curiosity, and inspires pupils to ask perceptive questions and be actively inquisitive. Links are carefully planned between history and our global curriculum themes, so that children contextualise their learning, make connections with prior knowledge and shape their understanding of the world on a local, national and global scale. The children are given opportunities to compare our modern world to the past, focussing on scale, duration and concurrence.
At Elaine, history is seamlessly woven into our global curriculum, allowing pupils to connect with historic periods and events in order to understand their place within the world. Children develop an understanding of the concept of time and the past in the Early Years Foundation Stage and build on this in Key Stage 1. Through skilfully planned learning journeys, children explore the characteristics of time periods; learning about people’s lives during the historical period as well as aspects including society, culture, economy, military, religion and politics. Each time period the children study is considered with a wider lens from those traditionally depicted with a focus on diversity and an appreciation of stories from different groups of people within the time period. For example, children will be able to explore ‘hidden histories’ such as the untold story of how African and Asian soldiers played a pivotal role in World War 2. As a result, children will understand the complexity of people’s lives in the past, the process of change and similarities and differences between challenges of the past and current times.
Children will have the opportunity to use evidence and sources to gain further knowledge whilst evaluating the reliability of a range of primary and secondary sources. Children then move on to study the significance of historical events and time periods, the main achievements of the time and the follies of mankind within this period. A detailed chronology provides children with knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Children establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study as well as events occurring elsewhere in the world during the same period. Within the learning journey, children will be able to form an opinion of this historical period or event, articulate whether their thinking has been challenged and further explore the opinions of others from the past to the present. Visitors and trips are a core aspect, providing an immersive context for learning, allowing children to explore historical accounts and sources.