History at Brookburn is a powerful subject in the curriculum and is one of the main drivers of the school’s overarching termly topics.
In teaching History, we aim to inspire a curiosity to know about the past; to encourage pupils to become ‘detectives’ who explore history in an exciting way and develop an appreciation of our country’s rich heritage and the influences of the history of the wider world on our lives today.
Children are encouraged to be open minded, analytical and become enquiring thinkers who can compare, contrast, develop an understanding of cause and effect, continuity and change and similarities and difference. We want them to question how people have lived in the past, to examine how and why things have changed and make connections between events that have occurred to support gaining sense and meaning of new knowledge acquired. We also hope that they develop their own thoughts and opinions about the past.
The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning. Topic organisation in KS2 is delivered in a chronological order to ensure that children can make connections to events that came before and compare periods of British History and that of the wider world at the same point in time.
Each year group follows at least one history based learning journey during the academic year. In each Key Stage the children will develop their knowledge and skills through exploring both British and Wider World history. We organise our curriculum into 9 knowledge or skills based Threshold Concepts which develop progressively though school. Cross curricular links are made wherever possible and we value opportunities for children to consolidate their understanding of History through exciting theme days and subjects such as Drama, Art, Music and DT. This approach will enrich their learning and give pupils a chance to explore a wide range of resources and historical characters from which the past may come alive. Learning is made meaningful through handling real artefacts, field work visits to sites of historical interest and the personal history of individuals in the local community who can share their experiences of the past with the children.
Every class has the opportunity to share one of their topics with parents via a class assembly. We also set home learning projects for children to complete with the support of their families to strengthen learning links and discussions between home and school.
Children at Brookburn enjoy History. We know this because our children tell us – they talk about things that they have loved learning and compliment these discussions with facts and wider knowledge they have gained because of their own interest in researching and reading beyond the curriculum.
The knowledge and skills the children develop, and the progress they make, is evidenced from the pupil interviews, observations and book looks carried out over the year. Class assemblies are celebrations of learning and topic books clearly show children’s pride and level of skill development.
By the end of Key Stage 2, children have a sound understanding of the chronology of British history. They can question, use evidence and think critically to understand the past and make sense of the present.
Cross curricular writing throughout the school demonstrates how children use their knowledge and understanding of history to enhance and strengthen the quality and purpose of their ideas.
Threshold Concepts of Historical Learning at Brookburn
Teachers plan and deliver content by linking learning to one of 9 Threshold Concepts. As children progress through the school, teachers can make connections to prior learning and ensure that children are revisiting and drawing on past experiences and teaching to help make sense of new content. This ensures that children are regularly recalling and revising prior teaching to ensure all learning is consolidated within long term memory, and reduces the possibility of forgetting.
These threshold concepts are displayed in the classroom, on working walls, and are referenced through planning and children’s topic work. Not every skill is addressed within each year group, however they are evident across each phase.