At Molehill Primary Academy, we believe that developing a curiosity about the past is an essential and powerful skill. We aim for all children to view themselves as historians and to ask critical questions, viewing good questions as an engine of historical inquiry. We want children to be able to tell us what they understand about historical events as well as being able to recall a wealth of fascinating facts. The teaching of History is vital in allowing children to understand why the world is as it is now and how events of the past have shaped the world we live in today. Through the teaching of historical events, both locally and globally, we are able to support children to develop the characteristics of respect, tolerance, open mindedness, patience and kindness, to name just a few, which we believe are essential to developing the ‘whole child’. We want children to see the subject of History as an ongoing process which they are part of and have an impact upon, not just one off events.
Beginning in the Early Years Foundation Stage Understanding the World area of learning, we start our historical teaching based on what the children already know. The children share information about key events from their own personal histories before extending this onto talking about the lives of people around them and their experiences of the past. This focus on starting from what children already know is continued throughout the school and all learning starts by revisiting prior knowledge. Teachers support children to recall previous learning and make connections. Adults model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Throughout the school we use historical artefacts, visitors, workshops and visits to excite and intrigue our children to find out more about events and people from the past. We aim to give our children as much understanding as possible about what it was like to be around at a particular period in history by having practical and experiential lessons where possible. The History Subject Leader uses lesson observations, book looks, conversations with class teachers and children to monitor progress which is underpinned by a Foundation Subject Tracker.
The impact of our History curriculum can be seen in our Inquiry Books, as part of displays throughout the academy, and through discussion with our children. Through pupil voice discussions children will be able to talk about the skills and knowledge they have acquired. Observations of lessons will show that children are engaged fully in the inquiry focused history curriculum we deliver and want to find out more. Children will be using their one to one devices to complete research independently and to further their own enjoyment about the subject or a specific History topic. Work in children’s books will show that all strands of the History National Curriculum are being covered, that skills and understanding progress in complexity as children move up through the academy and that transdisciplinary links are being made. The academy environment also celebrates the historical learning children are completing with a wealth of displays, resources, timelines and vocabulary displayed throughout the academy. Through encouraging children to become historians, children will learn lessons from history to influence the decisions they make in their lives in the future.