Aims and Intent
Purpose of study
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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.
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.
- The history curriculum is intended, in key Stage 1, to enable children to acquire an understanding of time and of events and people in their and their parents’ living memory. It is designed chronologically in reverse. Young children have very little concept of time, so we have devised a curriculum which starts at events in their own personal history and then moves back in decades to their parents’ and grandparents’ histories. In key stage 1, the aim is for pupils to handle artefacts, listen to first-hand evidence and testimony and to watch video clips to gather information together about the past. In Key Stage 2, the intent is to follow topics in chronological order so that they can develop a sense of time and how civilizations were inter-connected. The curriculum builds pupils’ understanding of time, chronology, how people lived. Historical skills and concepts build progressively across the key stage. We will follow part of the national curriculum but will go past the reign of Edward the Confessor to modern Britain.