“A high quality history education will help pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past and how it has impacted their life in today’s world. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups”
In their early history education, children at New Milton Infant School will develop their understanding of the passing of time. They will feel a sense of ‘awe and wonder’ about the past, developing an understanding of how the past has influenced the world today. Teaching will equip our children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. Children will enter into a rich dialogue with the past as they establish not only a substantive historical knowledge but also the disciplinary skills of a historian simultaneously.
The teaching of history is underpinned by our school vision and values through discussions about the past, considering how respect, aspiration and perseverance are present in events and the lives of significant individuals of the past.
At New Milton Infant School, we aim to deliver high quality teaching and learning opportunities within an ambitious and inclusive curriculum, in order to enable children of all backgrounds and abilities, including those with SEND and EAL make the best possible progress.
At New Milton Infant school children are given a rich and progressive history education. Teachers follow a curriculum that allows pupils to build on and make connections within their historical understanding, forming a ‘web of knowledge’ about the past. One layer of knowledge will later accelerate children’s understanding of another. They will begin to be introduced to more abstract concepts such as the ‘monarchy’ in this way, supporting them as they continue their history journey after Key Stage One.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children start their history journey as they follow the Understanding the World element of their curriculum.
Children begin to understand the past in Year R by:
- Talking about members of their immediate family and community.
- Commenting on images of familiar situations in the past.
- Comparing and contrasting characters from stories, including figures from the past.
The role of the adult is to inspire and guide the children into understanding the concept of ‘the past’ and ‘now’. Children are introduced to the past through people, objects and situations that are familiar to them. This learning runs intrinsically as they follow the Early Years curriculum, exploring the past both during adult-led tasks and continuous provision.
All Key Stage 1 pupils follow a program of historical study informed by the National Curriculum. Children will learn about:
- Significant events within and beyond living memory.
- Lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
In Key Stage 1 history is taught through historically based units of work. They learn to gather and process information, draw conclusions, refine their thinking and demonstrate their understanding in a variety of imaginative ways. Children explore out about past and present events in their own lives and move on to develop their understanding of time within and beyond living memory.
Children construct a deep, substantive knowledge of the past by exploring the following:
- Where people and events fit within a chronological framework
- Characteristic features of period, person or events, including similarities and difference between different periods.
- Change and continuity within the past.
- Cause and consequence including how past events have changed national life and impacted the children’s lives today.
- Significance of historical events, people and places.
- How elements of the past can be interpreted in different ways.
We see history as a process of enquiry led by the children, making it as relevant as possible. Lessons are based around an enquiry question, allowing our young historians to organise their historical knowledge and use their skills. To support their understanding and interest we use a range of multi-sensory teaching strategies and enrichment opportunities that are suitable for all age and abilities. These include:
- Using visual aids such as video clips, photographs, illustrations and real objects e.g. fossils, artefacts (including borrowed museum artefacts). We aim to use a range of sources and evidence to help children to construct a picture of the past.
- Learning through experience- Using drama, role play, storytelling and simulations to create immersive moments. This creates exciting and memorable experiences for the children (Great fire of London Drama Day).
- Use of internet and books for self-led discovery.
- Stories based on past people, events and key concepts.
- Trips and visitors- Sea City, Barton Beach, St Barbes Museum, pupil’s relatives.
Teachers take into account children’s prior knowledge through a carefully planned and sequential curriculum, challenging children to reach their full potential and addressing misconceptions. Teacher questioning and higher order questions are used to extend children’s thinking and develop understanding. Children’s questions are encouraged and recorded at the start of a topic. Teachers model being a historian and help children develop their enquiry skills, supporting children in finding answers from historical sources. As their confidence as a historian develops, children progress from asking and answering key questions as a class to doing so in small groups at the end of Key Stage 1.
Children develop their communication skills and understanding and use of vocabulary relating to the passing of time during both key stages. Children are exposed to and encouraged to use historical vocabulary as they pursue a line of enquiry to support their understanding of new words. Historical language is modelled both verbally and visually through classroom display and visual prompts. Key vocabulary is progressive through the year groups, meaning that children are familiar with a variety of words relating to the passing of time by the time they finish Key Stage One. Key words are pre-taught where appropriate and tasks are adapted or scaffolded to make them accessible for the learner whilst ensuring depth and rigour.
At New Milton Infant school we aspire to develop historians that have an enquiring mind and an eagerness to find out about the past and the world around them. By engaging children’s curiosity and independence, they progress to developing their own questions and choose from a range of exciting resources to investigate and find the answers for themselves. Pupils’ progress in history is assessed throughout each unit and these combined assessments contribute to an overall view of how well children are achieving in history. This assessment is communicated to parents each year in the mid-year report. Their new knowledge will be embedded to support them as they continue their history journey into Key Stage 2. The children will be able to link their historical knowledge to their own lives and consider how the past has influenced some aspects of life today. All children make the best possible progress from their starting points in History and through an inclusive curriculum that provides challenge and engagement for all.
Children will be able to talk about significant events in time and historical figures, identifying their importance and impact. Using appropriate vocabulary they will be able to discuss change over time, identifying similarities and differences when comparing aspects of life in different periods. Children will have an understanding of where people and events they have studied fit within a chronological framework and will begin to understand and make connections between local, national and international history.