At Village Infants School we aim to harness our pupil’s natural curiosity and wonder at the world through empowering experiences to help them understand the past and develop key historical skills. Through investigation, questioning and exploring artefacts pupils become historians to find out about past lives and events and their significance to their own locality and the wider world. They will be able to place these events and people in chronological order and through discussion and critical thinking begin to understand that how the past is represented depends on your point of view.
At Village Infants key historical knowledge and skills have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. Language development is progressive and ensured by the identification of key historical vocabulary for each unit of work and year group. In EYFS pupils begin by comparing and contrasting similarities and differences within their own lives and those around them and understanding that time passes in a sequential order. At the end of KS1 pupils can place an historical event on a chronological timeline and understand the national and global significance of past events.
At the beginning of each new history unit, teachers revisit the chronology and content of previous units, including those from previous years, using floor books, and prior knowledge is reviewed. Learning objectives are shared with the children and referred to throughout history lessons. Our school values are referenced through the actions of significant figures from the past, and pupils understand the importance of thinking with a growth mindset, perseverance and resilience in their achievements. Teachers ensure inclusive learning by differentiating lessons and activities as appropriate to meet the needs of all learners and ensure appropriate challenge. Historical vocabulary linked to the passing of time and vocabulary specific to each topic is planned and taught in a progressive manner.
Pupils are given hands on experience of exploring the school’s collection of artefacts and interviewing visitors to further develop key skills and knowledge. Each topic has a collection of subject specific books for pupils to read and use to develop their research skills. School trips to the Young V&A in Bethnal Green, Valence House in Dagenham and empowering experiences, such as burning models of houses the children have made to understand how quickly fire can spread, taking part in a Victorian School Day and visiting the local war memorial all enrich our history curriculum and help bring the past to life.
At Village Infants pupils are excited and engaged in history lessons, their natural curiosity is stimulated, and they are eager to find out more, often doing further research at home. By developing an understanding of the significance of events and actions in the past, pupils have a greater awareness of how actions and events in the present can impact on the future. They develop the historian skills of critical thinking and research and as a result become more thoughtful citizens. Assessment is through discussion of key questions and quizzes. Pupils are assessed during lessons and towards the end of each unit of work. This assessment is used to address misconceptions, review the effectiveness of the curriculum, and inform future planning.