The study of history at Holy Family involves engaging pupils in investigating questions about people and events in the past in order to enable them to better understand their lives today and for a future as more informed and enlightened citizens. Through the study of history pupils also develop a wide range of critical thinking skills, which enable them to understand the contested nature of knowledge and to distinguish between ‘fact’ and subjectivity when it comes to reaching conclusions and making judgements about the past.
We adopt an enquiry focused approach to learning and teaching in history which develops our pupils as young historians. Through enquiry our pupils not only build subject knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at critical thinking, the use of specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts. We structure learning in history through big question led enquiries about relevant historical topics, places and themes.
Our learning and teaching in history is interactive and practical allowing opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and also in groups of various sizes both inside and outside of the classroom. Wherever possible we provide our pupils with historical evidence including narratives, paintings, photographs, artefacts, and data to analyse and from which to reach conclusions and make judgements.
In the Foundation Stage children will be taught History through the Specific Area, Understanding the World. In the Early Years children begin to learn that as they grow up they are increasingly able to do more things for themselves independently and through first hand experiences, they are introduced to the concept of time and change. There will be a focus on themselves, their family and their immediate environment. Children will sequence events and explore patterns and routines. Children will be encouraged to talk about their findings and record them by drawing, writing or model making. These emerging skills and development of knowledge and understanding can be used to explore crucial early historical skills.
History in Key Stage 1
In Year 1 and 2, we aim for the children to learn in the most practical, hands on and experiential way. We utilise a variety of artefacts and sources to enhance and deepen the learning of all children. They begin their historical learning by exploring historical figures and events that have shaped Britain. Year One focus on amazing people such as Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell. Year Two focus on the Great Fire of London and begin to investigate the impact this had on the development of London. Each class then moves onto investigating the questions: What does it take to be a great explorer? and Who is the greatest history maker? Finally, we conduct research into how the Barrow seashore has changed throughout time and the importance of BAE.
There is a focus on developing the children's knowledge of chronology and change over time that is introduced on a smaller scale during the Early Years. By the end of Key Stage One, the children will be able to:
- Construct uncomplicated oral and written historical narratives by working forward from a beginning to an end or outcome.
- Construct a straight forward timeline using a pre-existing scale of equidistant intervals to record events in the order in which they occurred.
- Have a basic awareness of the concept of causation – how historical events are caused by other important past events and in turn have their own consequences.
The children's enquiry skills become further embedded across Key Stage One as they will regularly be using the following techniques in order to form their thoughts and comments about their learning.
Compare and contrast
History in Key Stage 2
In Years 3-6 the children will use a wide range of sources to ask and answer questions linked to their historical studies and interests. There are in depth investigations into how Britain has changed over time, ancient civilisations such as Ancient Egypt and the Mayans. The children will also become familiar with the history of Barrow and how different events through time have effected the development of the area we live in. Through the use artefacts, physical and digital resources as well as an opportunity to shape their own learning, children are immersed in learning about the past.
The children's knowledge of chronology and causation will be developing in lower Key Stage Two and will become embedded as they progress through the juniors. By the end of Key Stage Two, the children will be able to:
- Construct more detailed oral and written historical narratives which describe and explain how and why particular events unfolded over time;
- Interpret data presented in a time line;
- Construct their own timelines by creating their own equidistant scale, to record, describe and explain changes over time.
The children use the enquiry skills gained in Key Stage One and use more specialist language and techniques throughout Key Stage Two. They will regularly be using the following techniques in order to form considered thoughts and comments about their learning.
Reach informed conclusions
Make reasoned judgements