We are Historians
Our intent is to teach key transferable skills through an enquiry-led and engaging History curriculum which will build rounded individuals who can adapt to the requirements of jobs which do not yet exist. We aim to maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. History is an essential vehicle to do this: the study of the past is a puzzle that leads to greater understanding of the world. Through history, children will explore different time periods, investigate sources, ask and answer questions, draw comparisons and consider how the past has impacted the world we live in today. We are passionate about history and the unique outlook it gives us about the world we live in. Alongside everything we do, we continually embed our values of: kindness, dignity and endurance into the teaching of History.
What is the point in being a Historian?
A high-quality history education will help children 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. Alongside everything we do, we continually embed our values of: kindness, dignity and endurance into the teaching of History.
The aims of being a Historian are:
- 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.
Where does it come from?
Being a Historian is integrated into our curriculum through Curious-city. An enquiry-led, local learning approach to the National Curriculum 2014. This approach recognises that the cognitive maturity of learners affects what and how they learn. It also encourages teachers to think of how they encourage learners to be a Historian instead of simply teaching them History.
Within a Curious-city curriculum, there is no ‘skills or knowledge’ debate. It is a seamless blend of both, and through every enquiry, learners are challenged to work independently to prove their understanding of Being a Historian.
What does being a lead Historian entail?
- Provide encouragement and ideas to staff across the school.
- Know when 'Historian' enquiries are happening and speak with the relevant year groups.
- Monitor content, progression and enquiries and be mindful of coverage and skill acquisition.
- Collect and evaluate different voices with regard to Being a Historian.
- Drive the development of being a Historian, sharing best practice.
- Ensure enquiry planning and children's books are sufficient to effectively represent 'Being a Historian'.
What is ‘covered’?
Essentially, a Curious-city curriculum uses the National Curriculum 2014 areas as a basic foundation of entitlement. However Curious-city is much more than that. It is localised, real-life and challenges learners to apply their learning in unique ways without the support of adults to prove what they have learnt. Local companies, charities, organisations, individuals and objects are used as foci to enhance and instil a sense of curiosity, pride and stewardship.
How is Being a Historian monitored and assessed?
Every term, the lead Historian reviews children's enquiry books and displays of learning. This helps to not only ensure coverage and ‘matching up’ progress throughout a year group in line with the whole school curriculum map, but also an opportunity to collect different voices.
Every two terms, staff meet as a team to discuss and share what they are seeing and hearing within their subject, and as working as a team, help to review the school’s curriculum and contribute to the development plan.
As there is no requirement to formally report attainment of History, being a Historian is assessed through monitoring how a child responds to enquiries and whether they show a particular enthusiasm and disposition towards it, or, if they constantly needed support in order to access it. This information is recorded onto the enquiry sheets which are kept and used for report writing towards the end of the year.