Our aim at Valley gardens Middle School is to encourage students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the past, evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources. Our historians will also be able to explain clearly how these sources give us an insight about how people around the world used to live and how these interpretations may differ. Pupils will be taught to make links between these areas of learning, with the aim of developing engaged, motivated and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links to the present day. Our History curriculum has been designed to cover all of the skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum.
To ensure that pupils develop a secure knowledge that they can build on, our History curriculum is organised into a progression model that outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequentially coherent way. Topics are taught in chronological order, allowing for a clarity of understanding and to develop students’ comprehension of cause and consequence. History is delivered through subject specific teaching organised into blocks under a theme. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections and understanding for pupils. The History topics taught have been developed to help children appreciate their own identity and the challenges in their time. It will help them understand the process of change over time and significant developments.
Learning often starts by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers in their planners that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long term memory.
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.
- Who had the best claim to the throne in 1066?
- Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?
- How did William secure control of England?
- What was life like in a Medieval village?
- Why was the Church so important in the Middle Ages?
- What was the impact of the Black Death?
- What made a good Medieval monarch?
- Why did people go on Crusade?
- What did Europeans learn from the Crusades?
- What changes took place during the Agricultural Revolution?
- How did the Industrial Revolution affect living and working conditions?
- Did people think of the Chartists as a success?
- How did the British Empire develop?
- Was the Empire ever a force for good?
- What were the causes of the First World War?
- What caused people to “join up”?
- What was life like in the trenches?
- Does Haig deserve to be remembered as a butcher?
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