History is an integral part of the ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ hub at St Mary’s. The school’s rich history within the development of the town is at the centre of the History cog and is a celebrated and inspiring feature of the school. Full use is made of the resources within the immediate and local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality and the importance of their place within it. Through the broader study of history, our intent is to inspire children’s curiosity, encourage them to ask critical questions, enable them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live, as well as that of the wider world, and to learn valuable lessons from the actions of previous generations.
The project based approach to learning at St Mary’s, which has been fostered over the last five years, allows History to be taught in context and for connections to be made to other areas of learning. Key historical skills are taught to enable pupils to gain a deeper insight into the understanding of cause and effect which underpins all historical analysis. Pupils are made aware that these skills are transferable between subjects and real life experience.
Cross curricular outcomes in history are specifically planned for, with strong links between the history curriculum and morning English lessons enabling further contextual learning. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. Within our knowledge-rich approach, there is a strong emphasis on people and the community of our local area.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
Outcomes in Project books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and are curious to know more about the past. Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.