At Gislingham, we aim for a high quality history curriculum which inspires pupils' curiosity and fascination about the past. We want children to enjoy and love learning about history by gaining knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also through the use of educational visits. Our history curriculum aims to make full use of the resources within our locality, to enrich children's learning and enable them to develop a deeper understanding of the rich history of their area.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the national curriculum, the curriculum at Gislingham aims to ensure that all pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. As our pupils progress, they will become equipped to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. We want 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.
Our topic-based teaching of History ensures that links are made with other curriculum areas, deepening pupils’ understanding and providing relevant contexts for learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each History topic and careful thought has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. Teachers plan lessons for their class using our ‘progression of knowledge and skills document’ ensuring children are gradually building up a more complex set of skills.
We ensure that pupils are given the opportunity to build on their prior knowledge, make links with previous learning and develop a strong sense of chronology through a 'timebox' which physically moves up the school with the class. Each time a new topic is launched pupils revisit their timebox which enables collaborative revision of learning to occur regularly. Pupils can see how topics link to each other in time and begin to see the interrelationship of events.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for, with strong links between the history curriculum and English lessons enabling further contextual learning. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum. Teachers' lesson design is informed by best practice; for example, KeyStage History, of which the school is a member. We shape our history curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child; consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children begin to learn that as they grow up they are increasingly able to do more things for themselves independently. This emerging knowledge and understanding is used to explore crucial early historical skills.
Our curriciulum ensures that our pupils will have developed the historical knowledge and skills to help them understand change and how the society we live in came to be. We ensure our pupils leave their primary education as a 'historian' with the tools they need to succeed in the next stage of their education and beyond.