History Intent - What is it that we intend our children to learn through History?
At Repton Primary School, we recognise the importance of teaching our pupils coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We also aim to create a historical curriculum that will captivate and engage pupils so they have a depth and breadth of knowledge about a variety of historical eras. Children will be immersed in the History curriculum as part of the Autumn term topic. This enables children to have a deeper understanding of History and to allow the sequence of lessons to flow smoothly to create memorable, thought-provoking learning experiences. Our learning of the past commences in Reception, where children will understand the past through looking at their own lives and other people’s lives. They will also learn about a significant past event through storytelling, books and experiences. This will better prepare children to learn about older events in the timeline of the world for their years at Repton. Teachers from Year 1 to Year 6 will deliver lessons that focus on one historical era during the Autumn term; eras specified in the National Curriculum. Teachers will teach the necessary subject knowledge and cover 7 overarching concepts pertaining to that one historical era; art, beliefs, conflict, childhood, economy, homes and jobs. At our school, we want our children to receive a breadth and depth of knowledge, but also to have consistent knowledge as the children progress in their years at Repton. We believe it is important for children to make connections and links in their learning, so having this schema helps children to construct a clear narrative of history by forming links from EYFS to Year 6.
Our History curriculum is also based around our ‘RPS values’ and we expect children to explore themes around ‘Respect’, ‘Pride’ and ‘Success’ in each of the historical periods that they study throughout our school. This will enable children to understand mentalities and attitudes of people in different civilisations and time periods, but also to reflect on their own values and compare and contrast this with their own values. In developing children’s understanding of the world, and of the values that people have, we believe that this will foster a quality learning environment and create citizens that have a strong awareness with themselves, the world, the past and the present.
Staff carefully sequence learning to ensure the progression of knowledge, vocabulary, and skills as a historian. Teachers from EYFS to Year 6 use the Progression of Skills document to help inform teachers of the necessary historical skills that children need to acquire each year, which helps inform the planning and sequencing of lessons.
In EYFS, children are provided with activities to help develop the ELG of Understanding the World. One of the ELGs to meet this area of development is learning about the Past and the Present. To meet this objective, the EYFS teachers will gradually start to teach children about the jobs, roles, and responsibilities of people in their community and society. Teaching will look at similarities and differences between things in the past and things now. Teachers will use stories, evidence, and drama to teach about the events of the past, specifically the Great Fire of London and how life was different back then. Children then continue their learning and further develop their understanding independently in the environment around them, by giving the children hands-on opportunities to observe, ask and answer questions and become inquisitive.
At Repton Primary School, teachers from Year 1 to Year 6 teach specific historical eras, specified by the National curriculum. You can see the specific historical eras below.
Historical Eras taught for KS1 and KS2
Autumn Term 1
A Century & Me
(Changes in 100 years)
Autumn Term 2
Teachers sequence lessons by teaching lessons with the 7 concepts in mind to allow children to not simply learn facts about the historical era that the children are learning about but to learn subject material that is meaningful to them. Having these concepts encourages children to be able to make connections with historical eras taught previously in other year groups.
For KS1 and KS2 children, all learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge through a ‘Flashback’. This will be presented to the children as a set of 3 questions, created by the teachers, to help children recall previous learning and make connections from prior learning. Staff will encourage discussions and will model subject-specific vocabulary to help children use appropriate vocabulary.
For KS1 and KS2 children, learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them in retaining new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. Knowledge organisers are used for pre-teaching, to help edit children’s vocabulary and spelling, and as part of daily reviews.
Historical learning is enhanced by the experiences that the children will take part in during their learning. Throughout their time at Repton, children will be given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom where appropriate to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.
Learning walls in every classroom provide scaffolding for children. Pictures, vocabulary, key facts and questions, and model exemplars of the work being taught are displayed.
Assessment is used every few weeks to assess the children’s learning of the concept recently studied. Children have an assessment sheet displayed at the back of the books which have boxes with the 7 concepts presented. Teachers will give time for children to independently draw/write about what they know about a specific concept about the historical era taught, after completing a sequence of lessons on a specific concept. This allows children to express what they have remembered, and inform the teacher of gaps to pick up on in future flashbacks or future learning. This assessment tool is differentiated based on the needs or age of the child.
At the end of teaching History in the Autumn term, teachers use the information shown from the children’s assessment tool, and how children have performed against the lesson objectives for each lesson, to understand if children have met their specific History objectives for their year group. Teachers will populate the information against the KS1 and KS2 national curriculum using the school’s data tracker.