At Bridgelea we want our children to love history. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts. The history curriculum has been carefully designed so that our children develop their artistic capital. We want our children to remember their history lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with!
The history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the history National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, whilst studying World War 2 our children visited the Imperial War Museum and explored conflicts throughout the world, both past and present. This gave them a fantastic context in which to understand how future conflicts may develop, and their roles as citizens in affecting the future. While studying the Romans our children visited Castlefield Roman Fort, gaining first hand experience of archaeology and the origins the of Manchester.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the history curriculum. We teach our children to respect the beliefs of others and value and share our collectives histories. For example, we make links through our curriculum to current events in history like Windrush, immigation, Black Lives Matters movement (black history) and Mala Yousafi etc. We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, our children made world war 2 gasmasks. We played them recordings of the sounds of the blitz and they hid under the desks until the all clear was sounded. This gave them the opportunity to feel and experience the past. While studying the Greeks the children have designed and made their own pots and decorated them in the classical style. Children have learnt about archaeological excavation using dig trays in which to find ‘ancient’ artefacts and put these in context of time.
In October 2019, a complete audit of the history curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the history curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group developed to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
History subject specific abilities, which we expect the children to develop, have been reviewed and shared with all stakeholders. These abilities underpin all work in history and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
- The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of inquiry.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the
- past in different ways.
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
We encourage staff to teach history lessons through their class vehicles which allows the children to link historical events to the wider world. This was a notable change after the audit. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to history and that the subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in history are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use pre and post learning assessment to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These assessments then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.