The History curriculum at Riverley Primary School has been designed with the intent that all children will have exposure to a wide range of historical events and individuals to enable them to grow into thoughtful, skilled and empathetic learners. Lessons incorporate a high level of challenge through the facilitation of learning experiences and opportunities are given to make links between other subjects, such as in the STEM and Arts field, to create curious, critical and self-reflective learners. We have designed a curriculum which is tailored to the needs and interests of our children and reflects the diversity of our community. We want to encourage our students to appreciate, analyse and reflect upon the contributions History has made to our society and the impact on the wider world. Through discussion and a choice of a range of challenges and activities, children discuss and debate events in the past and present whilst hypothesizing how this might affect our future. We intend to promote and immerse the children in historical moments through celebrations of anniversaries, festivals, and other significant events throughout the year, which are linked with other areas of our meticulously planned curriculum design. We intend to increase our children’s cultural capital with a vast range of rich experiences, utilizing resources and expertise across the Griffin community.
We will deliver a curriculum that:
- increases the children’s knowledge of local history and how the past has had an impact of the children’s local area and environment
- enables children to interpret, analyse and debate the past using high quality primary and secondary source materials
- encourages children to build a deeper appreciation of where we come from and what aspects of history have influenced modern day from the diverse communities and narratives embedded within our curriculum
- develops a secure understanding of the chronology of events in their local area and across the world, considering the cause and effect of events through time
- draws upon similarities and differences within given time frames and across previously taught History, building upon prior learning
delves deeper into historical themed Big Questions which support children in forming their own opinions and interpretation of the past.
The History curriculum is monitored by the subject lead to promote continuous improvement by reviewing, evaluating, sharing best practice as well as undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) to stay at the forefront of developments within the subject. Teachers are supported by the History lead with the planning and delivery of an engaging curriculum.
Formative assessments are integrated into every day History teaching to ensure teachers have an in-depth knowledge of the children’s prior learning and to inform their next steps. Summative assessments are utilised to anaylse gaps and inform next steps at the end of a unit of work. Through bespoke CPD sessions, we ensure that all teachers share good practice and implement high quality teaching strategies that are engaging and provide a range of challenging activities.
All planning is informed by two fundamental, complimentary tenets: 1) to develop technical skill and 2) to acquire a deep understanding of historical knowledge. Learning is supported through the use of knowledge organisers which enables children to retain new facts and vocabulary. Knowledge organisers are used for pre-teaching and form a part of our prep for learning tasks, at home. They are also explicitly referenced throughout the unit of work so that pupils connect new and existing facts and develop a fluency of knowledge. Through the facilitation of learning experiences, teachers plan lessons around technical skills and provide opportunities for cross-curricular links in lessons. Children have many opportunities to apply their core subject skills to their History lessons as they present their findings in a range of ways.
Facilitators plan lessons following the carefully designed progression of skills and medium term planning documents; these plans allow children to build upon prior knowledge as they discover each term’s stimulating topics. These topics are our over-arching themes for our learning and are broad to encourage Big Questions creating a culture of critical thinking and enquiry. Throughout the children’s unit of work, Big Questions are used to support the children’s ability to problem solve and think creatively. The characteristics of effective learning, which we have rebranded as Learning in The Deep, also support the children’s ability to articulate their learning as they play and explore, develop active learning and think creatively and critically. As a result, our children value the process of their learning as well as the outcome.
Learning is brought to life though the inclusion of drama in lessons, immersing children in historical events through ‘teachers in role’ and with the use of digital tools such as ‘Now Press Play’. Now Press Play is a fantastic immersive learning experience where children use wireless headphones and are plunged into the world of their topic.
Riverley children develop their Oracy skills to support their articulation, communication and presenting skills in classes, school, with families and within the community. A vast range of sources and artifacts support the children’s understanding of different periods in history which the children can explore and, even, replicate. Children display their History Learning in Big Books which are filled with blank pages; this allows the children to be creative as they explore and display their learning according in a way that is individual to them. Our environment is utilised in a purposeful way to support visual learning and encourages both opportunities for collaboration and independence.
We utilise the natural outdoors to develop children’s historical understanding. Whether it is building shelters, re-enacting events, film-making or analysing the local area, our children gain an understanding into how the landscape has been affected by people and events in the past. Regular school trips to historic museums as well as immersive workshops are carefully planned for to widen our children’s horizons. Always linked to their learning, trips transports children back into the past and allows them to deepen their understanding of the topic that there are studying.
At Riverley, we are proud of our diverse and inclusive community and the learning that reflects the need and interests of our children. Children are exposed to a range of different historical figures and events, allowing our children to see representation that reflects the wonderfully diverse community that we live in. As a Riverley Family, we celebrate our vibrant community through learning about different perspectives in History, giving the children breadth and depth to their understanding of historical events and significant people.
Pupil leaders support the teaching and learning of history as our children ensure that our curriculum reflects their needs and interests of our children. Our Creative Arts Pupil leadership team, including a family representative, provides opportunities for our children to develop leadership skills through a variety of projects associated with ensuring High Achievement, establishing Proud Traditions and Widening Horizons for our entire school community.
Our children leave Riverley with a sense of belonging, championing our Riverley values of Creativity, Ambition, Responsibility and Empathy. Children leave Riverley with a love of History and can recognise a vast and diverse range of historical individuals and events, confidently articulating how history has shaped and impacted the world we live in today. At Riverley, we value the different narratives that have shaped our history. Our children are critical and reflective learners, confidently using a range of evidence to clearly articulate their point, evidence and explanation in response to a vast range of sources.
Strong enquiry skills encourage our children to always be curious about the world around them, respectfully challenging ideas to help them formulate their unique, well-thought through opinions. They know how to pursue their own interests in a topic and can develop further lines of inquiry. Children leave feeling that their efforts were valued and their opinions heard: they have had a chance to find their ‘voice’ and were encouraged to use it.
As a result of the immersive learning experiences at Riverley, our children boast a love of History that we hope will stay with them for life. High quality History lessons will have inspired pupils to want to know more about the past and to think and act as historians, understanding their role in time. As a result, our children leave as responsible global citizens who are ready to contribute positively to society.