History is the story of humanity. It invites pupils to ask big questions about identity and function such as ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why do we do things this way?’ By understanding civilisations and individual lives of the past, pupils can reflect upon the modern world around them, and crucially, possibilities for the future. Knowledge of Ancient Egypt, Greece and the Islamic Empire ensure our pupils develop as citizens of the world, whilst study of key aspects of British history from the Stone Age to the Battle of Hastings and the home front of WWII make them informed and curious citizens of the UK.
How Do We Teach History?
Historical enquiry at Churchfields Junior School is underpinned by strong substantive knowledge of chronology, events and individuals. This knowledge is cultivated using high-quality information texts containing a range of sources for pupils to explore during direct instruction, discussion and quizzing, and guided and independent practise. Substantive knowledge is practised and reinforced through weekly (lesson starter quiz), termly (Test Your Skills) and yearly review (revision) and study of a variety of civilisations in chronological order builds pupils’ sense of timelines which overlap, intersect and run concurrently.
Second order concepts challenge children to utilise their substantive knowledge to make comparisons and historical judgements about continuity and change, cause and consequence. In gaining substantive knowledge, as they move through the school, pupils also build schema around explicitly taught historical concepts such as civilisation and monarchy.
Pupils’ disciplinary knowledge is developed through regular discussion of historical skills embedded in lesson learning objectives and independent practise tasks, from organising historical information and creating coherent narratives to using abstract terms and making connections within and between historical periods.