At St. Augustine’s we believe that every child is entitled to a high quality history education which will help pupils gain coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the world. We aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. We seek to help pupils to understand people’s lives and societies and the process of change as well as the challenges of their time. We aim to provide a highly motivating and stimulating curriculum which encourages children to ask questions, be independent learners, collaborate and be aspirational
At St. Augustine’s we ensure that our History lessons are fully aligned to the National Curriculum. Our main topic themes are driven by key questions to ensure that key knowledge is taught and time is given for children to recall this knowledge through answering these key questions. There is an emphasis on vocabulary, in every lesson so pupils are clear of the meanings of technical vocabulary they are learning about, which they are then able to apply in other areas of the curriculum. To ensure that pupils develop secure knowledge that they can build on, our History curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Chronological Understanding; Historical Understanding; Historical Enquiry; Interpretations of History; Organisation and Communication are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge.
To ensure coverage, planning will consider the progression of skills, knowledge and understanding as outlined in the school’s knowledge and skill progression and in alignment with the National Curriculum. In KS1, the Historical skills will focus on the world around them and their living memory of History before moving to events that go beyond living history. This will ensure a firm foundation for KS2 History. In KS2, the History curriculum is set out in chronological order to allow pupils to reference the previous events in time and to refer to this prior learning year-on-year and within the year. All pupils will be required to make connections and historical links with prior learning of people, events, societies and epochs. Further relevance is provided when possible, where pupils can explore significant figures and locations in their local area, allowing them to achieve a sense of relevance and belonging through local history. Each topic commences with an overriding key question to focus pupils and foster curiosity. Topics are compiled of a series of lessons planned for progression and depth. History is taught around first and second order concepts. First order concepts are big themes within History and go across all time periods. (monarchy, the empire, democracy). Second order concepts (consequence, similarity, difference, change) then follow to allow children to build a deep understanding of different time periods and enabling children to use understanding of these concepts in different contexts. The curriculum is taught chronologically and uses key enquiry questions to tackle a historical issue.
Our Journey in History
The pupils will start in year 1 by exploring heroes in today’s society. This will lead to the study of History heroes Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. Having explored the concept of change within nursing they will then look at change within living memory with a focus on ‘The Queen’ and explore how her life as a child is different to theirs. They will explore the most important changes that have happened in her lifetime. Through looking at where the Queen lives, the children will learn about London and a significant event that took place in London in the past. They will develop their knowledge of the past through the story of The Great Fire of London.
In Year 2, pupils will study a variety of modes of transport and explore the strong link to Coventry e.g. Daimler, Rolls Royce etc. They will look at Sir Frank Whittle who was a local person of significance in relation to Air travel. The various modes of transport will be placed on a timeline so that children will develop their chronological understanding of how people travelled around the world in the past and will be able to compare this to now. They will use the theme of transport to `look at the lives of significant individuals who have contributed to National and international achievements, e.g. Christopher Columbus.
In KS2 children will start their chronological journey through history establishing clear narratives between periods studied. In year 3 they will compare the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age considering how life differed between these three periods of time before deciding which was the best period to have lived in. Children will then move on to study the achievements of an ancient civilisation – Ancient Egypt. They will study a range of sources to discover what they can learn about life in Ancient Egypt. They will compare the pharaohs who reigned and try to discover why some were remembered as great pharaohs.
In Year 4, children will build on their knowledge of Ancient Civilisations and move to study Ancient Greece. They will study a variety of sources to help teach them what life was like for the Ancient Greeks. Children will study the achievements of the Greek and gather their own conclusions on the legacy they have left behind in today’s world. Through a study of the Roman Empire, children will build on the knowledge taught in year 3, where they discovered how the Egyptian Empire was lost to the Romans. They will study how the Roman Empire kept growing and why they were envied by so many.
Children will continue to develop their work on early civilisations through a study of Mediaeval Baghdad to provide contrast with British and European history already studied. Children will learn about the rapid developments that took place in this early Islamic civilisation and how these developments outstripped these of anywhere else in the world. After studying history from other parts of the world, in previous years, in year 5, children will move to focus on Britain’s settlements by the Anglo Saxons. They will consider why they chose to settle in Britain, where they settled and think about their daily life. Children will examine how the Vikings invaded Anglo Saxon settlements, considering how and why they did this. They will explore the leaders of the Anglo Saxons and Vikings, considering who was the most successful and why. Children will complete an in-depth local history study of Coventry. They will develop their understanding of chronology through their study of local history reflecting on key periods, including mediaeval, early modern, 19th century and the 20th century.
In year 6, children will examine the changing powers of the monarchy finding evidence to support who they would award the Best Monarch. Children will study a significant turning point in history – The Battle of Britain – identifying the causes that led to the outbreak of WW2 in the years before and the consequences that then followed as a result. They will examine a variety of sources to help them arrive at judgements as to why Britain needed to win ‘The Battle of Britain’. They will consider the impact war had in our local area and other areas in the UK. Before considering the dramatic impact war had on the life of the Jews.
At St Augustine’s, the impact of quality first teaching in History fosters a love and enthusiasm for the subject. Pupil voice provides evidence that pupils are able to talk with confidence and enthusiasm about what they have learnt in history using subject specific vocabulary. Pupil voice also demonstrates that many pupils enjoy history and are able to recall their learning over time. Book looks demonstrate that history is taught at an age appropriate standard across each year group and is accessible to all including those from SEND and disadvantaged backgrounds. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence. Assessment, through end of unit quizzes, and book looks ensure pupils can demonstrate knowledge and understanding, use key vocabulary and are covering all skills in the progression of skills.