What does History look like at Rosa Street?
History at Rosa Street aims to be ambitious and motivating. Ambitious in our coverage of History, and through the way in which we teach historical skills. Motivating through engaging activities, trips, and themed days, which give pupils an insight into the period of History they are studying, and an opportunity to question the past. We believe that all pupils have the right to access rich learning experiences, and we want to help them develop enquiring historic minds, and a desire for lifelong learning. We intend to build upon previous knowledge and prepare pupils for their next phase of education. We have developed a history curriculum that is tailored to Rosa Street, which allows children to discover the past of their local area. We have also carefully planned a chronology of notable events and periods in British history, and other societies around the world. We want children to develop an understanding of local and British history, and to understand what was happening in different societies around the world in concurrent periods. This chronological understanding has been designed to provide progression in learning from EYFS right through to Year 6. We have also carefully thought out the historical vocabulary that children should use and understand in different year groups; this too is progressive across the school.
In our curriculum design, we have developed cohesion across school by making sure our planning is closely aligned with The National Curriculum. We have used an enquiry-based model, so each year group has a question as the starting point of every sequence of learning. This also ensures we have high-quality endpoints for our pupils, as they will be working towards answering the enquiry question and demonstrating their historical knowledge. We have used key ‘golden threads’ across year groups to make sure the historical coverage is robust. These are: society, legacy, economics and politics, and have been taken from The National Curriculum. These, like chronology and vocabulary, will be progressive, and children’s understanding of these key skills and concepts will deepen over time. We use second order concepts to help shape the enquiry questions. These are: historical significance, cause and consequence, similarities and differences, and continuity and change. We also cross-reference our planning documents with Ofsted subject reviews, to make sure that our curriculum is in line with the latest guidance. We have developed knowledge organisers for each enquiry question; containing an overview of the sequence of learning, the ‘golden threads,’ relating to the skills and concepts, and key vocabulary. The organisers are available in each lesson, to help children throughout their learning, and give them independence to define and consolidate key vocabulary and information.
We have woven our awards through our curriculum, and we have made clear links on our cohesion plan to Rights Respecting Schools. We aim to empower our children by teaching them to learn how to learn, so they can make their own informed choices. We have made links to Educate and Celebrate during all historical periods studied. We have also created links to our Eco School status too, for example, discussing the effect of mining on the local ecosystem.
At Rosa Street, we have a high percentage of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, so raising aspirations is a key focus when making curriculum links. We have thought about the significant individuals that we study; for example, George Stephenson was from the local area, and Amelia Earhart was a strong female role model. We want our children to understand the importance of the impact of these people, and to feel they too could make history if they wanted. This is also an opportunity to highlight jobs and careers that our children could aspire to in the future.
Children’s understanding will be evidenced in a range of ways. Written work will be showcased in books, and photographs and spoken evidence will be put into class floor books. Videos and photographs will also be captured and saved as evidence of practical lessons, trips and spoken evidence. We have oracy links across our curriculum. We feel that spoken evidence is as important as written, as it gives equal opportunities, for children of all abilities, to demonstrate their historical understanding. Because we have started each sequence of learning with an enquiry question, the lessons will be spent investigating and finding information that will help to form the answer. The endpoints for each sequence of learning are clear; children will be expected to demonstrate their historical understanding, by answering the enquiry question. This could be in a range of forms, depending upon the task and the year group, which has been designed to be progressive across school. Pupils in Key Stage 2 will be expected to answer in detail, and to write at length to answer the question. There will also be an expectation of the accurate use of historical vocabulary, and a detailed discussion, weighing up the information they have discovered.
As children reach the end of their time with us at Rosa Street, they will have a deep understanding of historical skills and concepts and will have developed a sound historical vocabulary. They will be able to talk about the different historical periods they have studied, and take part in discussions, putting forward their own informed views. We have developed a curriculum that will help children to become historians, and to develop ‘sticky’ knowledge that can be taken on into their next steps of learning. Our children will know more, do more, so they will remember more.