1 Aims and objectives
1.1 The aim of history teaching here at Sheringham Primary School is to stimulate
the children's interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in
the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they
develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their
historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people's
cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in
the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. In our school
history makes a significant contribution to citizenship education by teaching
about how Britain developed as a democratic society. We teach children to
understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today: we also
teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the
skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
1.2 The aims of history in our school are:
• to foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding
that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
• to enable children to know about significant events in British history and to
appreciate how things have changed over time;
• to develop a sense of chronology;
• to know and understand how the British system of democratic government
has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child's citizenship
• to understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study
some aspects of European history;
• to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the
• to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they
develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
• to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation
2 Teaching and learning style
2.1 History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place
an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. In each key
stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We
encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of
events in the past. 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 'how do we know?': about information they are given,
2.2 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. We
achieve this by:
• setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of
• setting tasks of increasing difficulty. Not all children complete all tasks;
• grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks for each
• providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the
• using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.
3 History curriculum planning
3.1 All children are entitled to access to the National Curriculum for History. Planning is in line with National Curriculum requirements for KS1 and KS2 curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The new National Curriculum sets out the coverage of the History Curriculum.
3.2 The history subject leader works which units are covered in each year group in consultation in conjunction with teaching colleagues.
3.3 The class teacher plans the lesson for each history lesson (short-term
plans). These plans list the specific learning objectives of each lesson. The
class teacher keeps these individual plans, although s/he and the history subject
leader often discuss them on an informal basis.
4 Foundation Stage
4.1 We teach history in reception classes as an integral part of topic work
covered during the year. We relate the history side of the children's work to the objectives in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which applies both to Reception and Nursery. History makes its contribution to the EYFS through objectives in Knowledge and Understanding of the World.
The children look at and discover the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives.
5 The contribution of history to other subjects
History contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that we use in the Literacy are historical in nature. For example, in Key Stage 2 we use the books Ancient Egypt, Gloriana an Elizabethan Story,
Historical letters and journals and a World War 2 Anthology to enhance the children's knowledge and understanding of different historical periods. Children develop oracy through discussing historical questions or presenting their findings to the rest of the class. They develop their writing ability by composing reports and letters and through using writing frames.
History teaching contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through doing activities such as time-lines. Children learn to interpret information presented in graphical or diagrammatic form.
5.3 Information and communication technology and Computing (ICT)
We use ICT in history teaching where appropriate and we meet the statutory requirement for children to use ICT as part of their work in history at Key Stage 2. Teachers make good use of the interactive white boards to display resources and stimulate the children’s interest. Children use ICT in history to enhance their skills in data handling and in presenting written work, and they research information using the Internet and Espresso which they can access at school and at home. Children have the opportunity to use ipads and digital cameras to record and use photographic images.
5.4 Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship
History contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social, citizenship and health education. Children develop self-confidence by having opportunities to explain their views on a number of social questions such as how society should respond to poverty and homelessness. They discover how to be active citizens in a democratic society by learning how laws are made and changed, and they learn how to recognize and challenge stereotypes and to appreciate that racism is a harmful aspect of society. They learn how society is made up of people from different cultures and start to develop tolerance and respect for others.
5.5 Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
When teaching history, we contribute to the children's spiritual development. . We also provide children with the opportunity to discuss moral questions, or what is right and wrong. The history programme of study enables children to understand that Britain's rich cultural heritage can be further enriched by the multi-cultural British society of today.
6 Teaching history to children with special needs
6.1 We teach history to all children, whatever their ability. History forms part of the school's curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. We provide learning opportunities matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties and we take into account the targets set for individual children in their ‘My Provision and Progress Plans’ (MP3s).
7 Assessment and recording
7.1 We assess children’s work in history by making informal judgements as we observe them during each history lesson. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the expectations stated in the medium term planning. We use this to inform future planning and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.
7.2 The history subject leader keeps samples of children's work in a portfolio. These
demonstrate what the expected level of achievement is in history for each age
group in the school.
8.1 There are sufficient resources for all history teaching units in the school. Each year group is adequately resourced for the topics they teach. The library contains a good supply of topic books to support children's individual research. Internet resources and programs are available on the school network to strengthen the children's subject knowledge and understanding.
9 Monitoring and review
9.1 Monitoring of the standards of children's work and of the quality of teaching in history is the responsibility of the history subject leader. The work of the history subject leader also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of history, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The history subject leader gives the headteacher an annual report in which s/he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in the subject and indicates areas for further improvement. The history subject leader has specially-allocated time in which to fulfil this role by reviewing samples of children's work and visiting classes to observe teaching in the subject.