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History

INTENT

At Southwold, our intent is to provide a stimulating and comprehensive history curriculum that promotes a deep understanding and appreciation of the past. We aim to inspire our children with a love for history, developing their knowledge and skills to become informed and critical thinkers. Our intention is to instil a sense of cultural heritage, fostering British values and promoting the importance of historical events and figures in shaping our society.

At Southwold, we aim to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence.

Our intention is to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups. Studying history allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. Southwold’s history scheme aims to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each year group, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of history.

We aim to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts, as well as the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries. In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in history, our scheme aims to introduce key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture. Southwold’s history scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum.

Implementation

To ensure that our teachers are confident in the teaching of History we have chosen to use the Kapow History scheme to support our curriculum. The school has chosen to use Kapow because of the spiral approach to learning and the quality resources which are written by specialist History teachers and educators. The spiral curriculum model ensures previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.

Through the use of Kapow Primary, our Southwold scheme emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram above. These strands are interwoven through all our history units to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do.

Substantive Knowledge Strands:

    • Topic Knowledge
    • Chronological awareness
    • Substantive concepts

Disciplinary Strands:

    • Historical enquiry
    • Disciplinary concepts

In EYFS, through discussion of history and the children’s understanding of past and present forms a part of our everyday conversations and interactions. For example, by naming the days of the week, or talking about recent, past events, the children build their understanding of what the past and present are as well as their personal history and chronology of events. History is also taught and referred to by tapping into our Project books

History lessons will be taught over one half termly period in Years 1 – 6, following the Cycle A and B curriculum overview, using an enquiry based approach. Enquiry questions are posed for each unit of study and children look to investigate in-depth different lines of enquiry to find answers to their question. Across the year, our children will study a range of different History topics, focusing on both Substantive and Disciplinary knowledge pathways for history. Throughout key stage 1 and 2, three history topics are taught, alternating with Geography units of work. While children will focus on Substantive knowledge content through studying historical information about specific units of study in each year group, we are also committed to developing our pupils’ disciplinary knowledge at being historians.

Each six-lesson unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons to other parts of the world. Children will develop their awareness of the past in Key Stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children to build a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key Stage 2 and to identify connections, contrasts and trends over time. The Southwold  timeline supports children to develop this chronological awareness. Units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to follow the enquiry cycle (question, investigate, interpret, evaluate and conclude, communicate) when answering historical questions. Our history curriculum is carefully designed to ensure progression and coherence throughout the primary years. We follow the National Curriculum’s Programmes of Study for history, ensuring coverage of key concepts and topics.  We also offer enrichment opportunities and cross-curricular links throughout our history curriculum to further deepen and embed the children’s historical knowledge.

Over the course of their time at Southwold, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:

    • Change and continuity.
    • Cause and consequence.
    • Similarities and differences.
    • Historical significance.
    • Historical interpretations.
    • Sources of evidence.

These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As children progress through Southwold, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.

Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key Stage 1, clearly identified in Lower Key Stage 2 and revisited in Upper Key Stage 2 (see Progression of Skills and Knowledge) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in history.

Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of a historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied. Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all

pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts, concepts and vocabulary.

Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly-effective and robust history curriculum. Each unit of lessons focuses on the key subject knowledge needed to deliver the curriculum, making links with prior learning and identifying possible misconceptions.

Assessment for Learning

The impact of our history scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a skill catcher and knowledge assessment quiz which can be used at the end of the unit to provide a summative assessment.

We use a range of formative and summative assessment strategies to measure pupil progress and inform teaching. Regular checks for understanding are embedded in our lessons, allowing teachers to identify gaps in knowledge and address misconceptions promptly. We provide timely feedback to pupils, encouraging self-reflection and setting targets for improvement. Additionally, we use end-of-topic assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching and to ensure pupils are making the expected progress.

IMPACT

Our history curriculum has a positive impact on the attainment and progress of our pupils. Through our engaging teaching methods and rigorous assessment, pupils develop a broad and deep understanding of historical concepts, acquiring a wide range of knowledge about key events, figures, and eras. High standards of achievement are demonstrated through consistently strong performance in internal and external assessments.

Our intent is to instil a love for history in our pupils, and we hope the impact can be seen in their enthusiasm and passion for the subject. We want pupils to actively engage in lessons, demonstrating resilience, curiosity, and a thirst for knowledge. Our aim is for pupils to take pride in their historical knowledge and confidently share their understanding with peers, families, and the wider community.

Through our inclusive and culturally responsive curriculum, our pupils develop awareness and respect for diverse cultures, both past and present. They develop an appreciation for the values and traditions that have shaped British society and democracy over time. We want pupils to demonstrate empathy and tolerance, celebrating differences and challenging prejudice as well as to understand the importance of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect, contributing positively to society as responsible citizens.

Our history provision will equip our pupils with transferable skills that benefit their learning across the curriculum and in later life. Historical enquiry skills, critical thinking, and research abilities enable pupils to evaluate evidence, form reasoned arguments, and think analytically. These skills support their development in other subjects as well as their ability to become lifelong learners, equipped to make informed decisions in an increasingly complex world.

Southwold aims to provide an inspiring and comprehensive history curriculum that fosters a love for the subject, promotes cultural awareness, and develops vital historical knowledge and skills. Through rigorous implementation and impactful teaching, we aim for our pupils achieve high standards, become active learners, and make meaningful connections between the past and the present.

At the end of Key Stage 2, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of historical skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.

The expected impact of following the Southwold History scheme of work is that children will:

    • Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
    • Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.
    • Develop a historically-grounded understanding of substantive concepts – power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of mankind and society.
    • Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity and differences.
    • Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
    • Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
    • Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
    • Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
    • Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
    • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for history.
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