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Subject Intent

At Shenley Primary School, our aim is to cultivate a deep curiosity and fascination with the past, through a carefully planned and varied History curriculum. We ensure that as children progress through the school they cover a broad range of Historical topics including; learning about the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world; Knowing and understanding significant aspects of the history of the wider world including ancient civilisations and empires; Learning about changes in living memory and beyond living memory and learning about the lives of significant people in the past. Our children continue to build on and develop a range of enquiry skills and begin 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. We encourage pupils to be inquisitive and investigative when exploring new topics, enabling them to form their own opinions and conclusions. Our children are given opportunities to make comparisons between their lives and the lives of people in the past using a range of sources and hands on experiences. They are given time to explore their own personal History as well as learning about significant local, national and international figures and events.

We actively encourage our pupils to reflect on what they have learnt and to make links with other areas of the curriculum. They are given time to build connections between different eras in order to develop a clear understanding of chronology and to support them in building a personal timeline of events which includes the time periods they have studied. Historical vocabulary is taught right from the start and becomes more sophisticated as the children’s understanding improves.  Children are able to answer historical questions and with an increasing curiosity and a knowledge of historical terminology are able to formulate their own historically valid questions.

At Shenley we closely follow the National Curriculum objectives and have made careful provisions to ensure all areas of study are covered by the time children leave in Year 6, with the teaching of historical enquiry skills deeply embedded in each topic. These skills are continually developed and refined as children progress throughout the school. Our comprehensive progression of skills facilitates children in making good progress by supporting teachers in pitching lessons appropriately in accordance with the needs of their class.  We carefully monitor our children from their starting points in Nursery or Reception to ensure they have every opportunity to make good progress. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.


National Curriculum Aims for History

The National Curriculum for History aims to ensure that all pupils:

· know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world

· know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind

· gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’

· 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

· gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.