At Mattersey Primary School, we believe that History is an essential part of the curriculum, a subject that not only stands alone but is also woven into learning in a range of subjects. Our intent is to deliver the National Curriculum for History in an engaging and exciting way.
History has an impact on the lives and experiences of everyone today. We live in a society that has been shaped by significant events and people in the past and it is important for our pupils to understand local, cultural, national and international history. We intend to raise cultural capital and develop connections through people and events in different places and different times. We want to equip our pupils with the critical thinking to understand the way that the world is always changing and generate interest, inspiration and challenge of the events in the past as well as a sense of intrigue in our Mattersey historians.
The History curriculum is mapped out over a two-year cycle in EYFS and Key Stage 1 and over a four-year cycle in Key Stage 2 to ensure complete coverage for pupils in our mixed age classes. Taught as an independent subject, as well as linked to key topics and subjects across the curriculum, we will build up the pupils’ knowledge and develop their skills as they move through the primary curriculum. (Such as creating information leaflets about a famous Roman emperor in English lessons in Key Stage 2 and working with clay to create Greek vases in Art when learning about the influence of the Ancient Greeks, as well as designing and building models of Tudor Houses in Art and Design when learning about the Great Fire of London in Key Stage 1).
Across school, lessons have a ‘Big Question’ approach, which supports children’s understanding of the key learning within each lesson and helps pupils to develop a sense of questioning and historical enquiry. For example, in KS2 pupils explore the question, what impact did the Roman Empire have on Britain at the time, and what legacy did it leave us with? over the course of their learning. Furthermore, the Success criteria, presented to children as Red/Amber/Green statements help to ensure that they are very clear about how they can show their achievements in this subject.
History is an essential part of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage as it is incorporated into everyday learning. The historical aspects of the children’s work relate to the objectives set out in the EYFS Development Matters Statements and the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) relating to the area of Past and Present.
In Key Stage 1, the children will begin by learning about small snapshots of history by considering changes within living memory to help children to understand that History is always being made. They will also look at local history for them to understand how their homes have been affected by people and events around them, giving them a sense of regional identity. They will start to look at History on a wider scale by looking at significant people and events from the past within this country and across the globe.
In Key Stage 2, the children will begin to study specific periods in chronological order and build up their knowledge from ancient history to modern history. Topics of study have been chosen carefully to suit the interests of the children and to enable a rich variety in their knowledge and skills as well as to ensure progression of knowledge and experiences as historians.
Our Mattersey Historians will be able to know more and remember more about History. They will be able to understand historical concepts and vocabulary and understand the events and people that have shaped the world that we live in today. They will develop a range of skills from asking and answering questions to developing a sense of intrigue. They will be equipped to use these skills across other areas of learning that will also allow them to progress in their learning as they transition to secondary education.
Key Stage 2 pupils developed their knowledge of the impact the Roman army had on British society by imagining they were Roman soldiers. They researched the life of a Roman soldier to understand how the army was so successful, then made traditional Roman shields so they could reenact some of the formations the army would make. They then used their knowledge to write diaries in English about a day in the life of a Roman soldier.