At Woodland Primary School we use a topic based creative curriculum as a way of achieving the outcomes set by the national curriculum for Art and Design, History, Geography, Music, English and Science in our mixed age classes. We want a curriculum which extends beyond the classroom and into the world around, one that enables children to understand who they are and the world in which they inhabit and which ultimately gets children excited to learn and prepared for the future that awaits them.
Through our History teaching at Woodland Primary School we aim to help our children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The study of History will help our children understand the complexity of other people’s lives, the diversity of societies and how and why things change(d).
Our history curriculum enables children to develop knowledge and investigative skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas. It inspires curiosity, allowing children to question perceptively and think critically. It looks at different sides/view points within historical periods, allowing children to develop perspective, form their own opinions, explain justifications, substantiate and discuss the quality and need for evidence. These skills will help children through out their further education and for the rest of their lives.
Our history curriculum is planned on a four yearly programme to ensure coverage and high priority within our mixed age classes. Within carefully selected topics, children make meaningful links between art, music, history, geography, design technology, English and science. They are helped to understand how these subjects bring a deeper understanding to their lives, other people and the world, past and present. We become the explorers, artists, writers, inventors and scientists. Through further experiences and creative thinking skills activities, children delve deeper into their understanding whilst developing new skills for a range of purposes.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for and the local area is fully utilised to achieve desired objectives, with learning outside the classroom through visits and/ or visitors embedded in practice. The history curriculum is enriched by practical cross curricular experiences such as visits to Vindolanda, Locomotion, Beamish museum, the local Mart and visitors from Bishop Auckland and Bowes Museums. Lessons are planned to stimulate curiosity and develop understanding and knowledge, they are designed to be fun and engaging for all pupils and inclusive for all the ages, starting points and abilities within the class. Teachers and visitors are asked to bring ‘history to life’.
Planned opportunities are given at the beginning of each topic for children to convey what they know as well as what they would like to investigate and find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are r elevant and take into account children’s interest.
Topic workshop or celebration days are planned termly for the whole school to show parents and the school community the learning that has been achieved within the topic, with children showing and explaining the historical concepts to their parents and peers. This could take the form of children inventing, explaining and facilitating activities for parents/peers around the history they have learnt (e.g. ordering a timeline/ Anglo Saxon weaving/ building The Rocket) or writing and publishing an Ancient Egyptian/ Grecian/ Mayan cookbook or planning, producing and participating in a Roman Feast!
We use a progression of skills throughout school that teachers use to monitor progress. Understanding is evaluated through regular questioning, work produced and assessment against the objectives. Topic books evidence a broad and balanced curriculum and show the acquisition of key knowledge.
Children are asked to evaluate and think about what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every history topic. This learning is also shown by the children on our Topic Celebration days, evidenced by feedback from parents in the comments book. Teachers are supported in their planning and resourcing of topics. We also use learning walks, professional dialogue with teachers and pupil voice discussions to evaluate the impact of our curriculum.
Our children will leave Woodland Primary with an ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
Shown in the link below is how the History Curriculum is covered through our topics: