Through the Holy Redeemer, we seek to grow in faith and love, to become great people who make a difference in our world.
History at Holy Redeemer
The aim of history teaching is to inspire the children’s interest and understanding about what people’s lives were like in the past including pre-historic and ancient times. A rich history curriculum should be motivational and delivered passionately, whilst teaching skills of: perceptive questioning, critical thinking, weighing the evidence, sifting through different arguments, and developing perspective and judgement. British history aims to shape the children’s identity and cultural understanding of themselves in order to compare this to other cultures and their history such as Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. They will learn how relationships formed, how empires expanded and dissolved as well as whole civilizations vanishing.
Through a historical narrative, children can understand who they are and where they come from, whilst comparing this to other cultures and therefore they are more than likely be able to embrace a modern, multicultural Britain. Based on historical past events domestically and globally, e.g. war and invasion leading to democracy, they can consider what impact this had on people and better inform their choices today.
In key stage one, children will learn about ‘The Great Fire of London 1666,’ which shows how this event changed lives as well as the housing industry forever. Furthermore, they will learn about significant historical people from Christopher Columbus to Florence Nightingale.
In key stage two, Year 3 children will learn about their British origins in the Stone Age through to what the Romans and Vikings did for us, exploring the ancients, before returning to the Victorian era and World War II, in Year 6.
We also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
The aims of history in our school are to:
• Children develop an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
• enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
• develop a sense of chronology;
• use historical vocabulary and develop comprehension;
• know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education;
• understand how Britain connects to the wider world as well as offering a chance to study some aspects of European history;
• have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
• help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
• develop children’s skills of how to: understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses;
• understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
Our school implements History from the national curriculum programmes of study scheme of work relevant to the subject.
In the long term planning, we take the objectives for each key stage and plan a sequential scheme through those classes, which best connects to other areas of the selected year groups topics in other subjects creating a broad and balanced curriculum.
Holy Redeemer, is extremely keen to accommodate local history studies as part of the national curriculum coverage. In the local area we have links to medieval history as well as modern history. Teachers should be encouraged to consider use of local topics: e.g. the Almonry museum to study ‘The Battle of Evesham’, ‘The Commandery’ to study Oliver Cromwell or ‘Croome Court’ to study World War II, through RAF Defford. There is even a British King buried in Worcester Cathedral.
Our medium term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. In previous years, we have accommodated mixed-age classes; therefore, the medium term planning is based on a two-year rotation cycle. In this way, we ensure that children have complete coverage of the National Curriculum but do not have to repeat topics.
Each class teacher creates their own plan for each lesson. These daily lessons plans list specific learning objectives.
History teaching MUST focus on teaching explicit history skills as well as being used as a vehicle for English or other subjects. Although this is considered ‘good practice’ in some cases, history skills are often lost.
History teaching focuses on permitting children to think as historians. The examination of historical artefacts and primary sources should be used, where possible. Where this is not possible, photographs should be used. In each key stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance.
Visitors are welcome to attend school and talk about their own experiences of events in the past. Where generations are being lost to time, these sessions should be recorded (with permission) or documented using recording equipment in order to preserve history. We recognize and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past.
We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘what evidence supports this theory?’ about information they are given as there may be alternative explanations to events as technology develops.
We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely-different abilities in history and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.
“The lessons are active, the approaches varied and the outcomes imaginative. Hardly a worksheet in sight!”
OFSTED, 2020 cited in Key Stage History
“It provides identity and shows us models of good and responsible behaviour, as well as teaching us how to learn from the mistakes of others. History helps us understand how society can change and develop. If we don’t teach our children to connect with history, then the consequences for our society could be disastrous. The more we know about the past the better prepared we are for the future because by remembering the past, we realise that we are responsible for building a legacy for the generations that follow us.”
Discovery Bay, 2017
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana, 1905
We assess children’s work in history by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons or their participation in visits to educational settings.
Once the children complete a piece of work, teachers use formal assessment and use this information to plan for future learning. A benchmark grid is available to teachers grading children either: emerging, secure or working at greater depth against their year group objectives, we are reporting to parents occurs annually with a written report and through parent evenings. Currently, we are in the process of developing a formal, written assessment for history in our school (see appendix 1).
We have a short supply of resources, in our school, to be able to teach history. Where we do not own specialist equipment, we will outsource our learning to an external, verified provider. In the library, we have a good supply of history topic books, which are accessible at any time. Future aims are: to find providers, who have access to historical archives or libraries of primary sources.
The current Headteacher: Christina Hall and the current subject co-ordinator: Russell Hawtree are responsible for monitoring the standard of the children’s work and the quality of teaching in history. They are also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of history, for being informed about current developments in the subject, and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school.