Why is History Important?

History is about real people and real events that occurred in the past. At St Joseph’s, we strive to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Teaching History enables pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. In History lessons children will have an appreciation of chronology, similarity and difference, causes and consequences and continuity and change.

We believe that History equips pupils to discover the understanding of enquiry. Asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments and developing perspective and judgement are all skills that are crucial in their learning development and valued in adult life. History supports learners to be able to develop their own opinions, decisions and values based on the sources and information they have been provided. 

St Joseph’s Aim for History- Curriculum of Hope

This year, we are using a new style of foundation subject curriculum, which has been written specifically for our children by our teachers.  Children will learn key historical and geographical knowledge through a dilemma-led story including fictional and significant heroes.  We hope these lessons will inspire children to not just learn facts, but strive to become an empowered, active citizen who can make a difference in the world they live in.

What is a dilemma-led curriculum?

We introduce problems that need to be solved by the children.  The problems are contextualised through the use of story.  Children are placed at the centre of the dilemma.

We know stories are memorable, therefore if we are solving a problem within the framework of a story there is a potential for something very powerful.

´  Solving problems is deeply satisfying and memorable (Daniel Willingham)

Why do we use Stories?

´  Story is a key part of a humanity-rich curriculum – it engages children in a cognitive, social and emotional manner.  It DRIVES the subsequent knowledge they need to learn and understand in order to solve the problem.

´  As teachers, we need to choose and create stories that ignite the children’s thirst for more knowledge.  Give children roles and responsibilities to be more engaged.

´  The story should enhance our learning and not take away from the central knowledge being learned.

´  This type of learning will give writing a real clarity and purpose.

History Pedagogy

´  Make history learning ‘then’ time and link to current ‘now’ time. 

´  This enables children to learn and process the necessary curriculum knowledge, but connects its meaning to their life now and humanises the history.  It makes areas of history more relevant to their current and future lives.

At St Joseph’s, our curriculum for History aims to ensure all pupils:

´  understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, chronology, cause and consequence, similarity and difference.

´  Use these historical concepts to gain knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts.

´  Can think critically about history and make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends and communicate these opinions in structured accounts, including written narratives.

´  Know how people’s lives have shaped been shaped by historical events and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world

´  Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world

´  Develop an understanding of the importance of enquiry. They can ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of the sources to show that they know and understand key features of events

´  Understand the methods of historical enquiry and how/why people interpret the past in different ways.

´  Be able to think, reflect, debate and discuss the past, devising their own questions and recognising the impact of history on today.

Subject Content

Across Key Stage 1, pupils will be taught about:

o   changes within living memory. 

o   events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally. 

o   the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. 

o   significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Across Key Stage 2, pupils will be taught about:

o    changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

o    the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain

o    Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots

o    the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor

o    a local history study

o    a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

o    the achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer, The Indus Valley, Ancient Egypt, The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China

o    Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world

o    a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300