History at WJPS

                                 The History Curriculum at West Jesmond

                             Curiosity, Confidence, Creativity and Community

History Curriculum Aims

History at West Jesmond helps our pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. As our children progress through school, they will gain the skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and arguments as well as develop perspective and judgement. Our ambitious history curriculum is accessible to all pupils through careful ongoing scaffolding and adaptations. This allows our pupils to leave West Jesmond as confident historians who possess an excellent knowledge and understanding of people and events from a range of historical periods and the skills to reflect on, debate and evaluate the past. Our History curriculum helps to develop our children’s sense of community, empathy and identity. Our children are able to better understand the present by exploring how historical changes create the diverse community we have today.

Implementation

The history curriculum at West Jesmond covers the EYFS Curriculum and the National Curriculum aims and objectives and has been carefully tailored to make it bespoke in relation to our pupils and local area. For example in Year 3, a history topic is ‘The Railway Revolution’ where the children explore how trains changed the lives of people in our local area and across Britain, with a focus on George Stevenson. Each topic is introduced to the children through a Big Question which promotes curiosity and a creative problem-solving approach in line with our whole-school Curriculum Drivers. Children are encouraged to think chronologically about where a new topic falls in relation to previous and future topics. The core of our learning combines understanding and applying concepts, such as historical evidence and historical significance, with knowledge. Children revisit these concepts in different year groups and are encouraged to use metacognitive resources and thinking to make links between their learning and retrieve knowledge. Staff are helped to become experts in history through ongoing planning support and access to CPD. They use a metacognitive toolkit to cement the conceptual understanding, deepen evaluating and questioning skills and to ensure that task design is relevant to final outcomes. Knowledge Organisers identify the key information and targeted vocabulary we want our children to learn and retain. At the end of each topic, children answer the Big Question and are challenged to reflect on how their learning has impacted on their thinking.

Topics are enhanced through field trips, handling of artefacts and our school’s personalised historical timeline. We are also fortunate to be able to welcome additional support from our West Jesmond families, the wider school community and experts from many local museums and Universities. This allows the children to develop a deeper and lasting understanding.

What you will see in a West Jesmond History Lesson

  • Engaging and inspiring lessons that promote creativity and curiosity.
  • High quality instruction and questioning with teachers providing carefully planned sequenced and modelled lessons that build on children’s historical knowledge and skills.
  • The use of carefully chosen primary and secondary sources and focussed discussion on the validity of sources and viewpoints.
  • Achievement and inclusion for all: All activities are planned, scaffolded and adapted to ensure every child at West Jesmond can achieve highly in History. This may include adapted resources, adult support and awareness of physical/sensory needs.
  • Retrieval of previous learning and explicit links through concepts that connect new learning with what the children know. Historical knowledge organisers and timelines supporting the building up of deeper knowledge.
  • Frequent authentic experiences through visits, visitors, artefacts and workshops.
  • High quality talk giving opportunities for children to discuss and debate sources and to learn how to challenge and disagree respectfully giving thoughtful reasons for their views.
  • An emphasis on correct and ambitious vocabulary. 
  • High quality verbal feedback during lessons.
  • A sensitive, but challenging approach to address issues of debate and contention.

 Impact: Progress in our curriculum is measured by children knowing more and remembering more.

If we are meeting our aims, our learners will have a rich body of historical knowledge and skills and a curiosity to find out more about the world they live in. They will see themselves as historians and through an understanding of how people have shaped history they will view themselves as active participants in their society and the wider world.

Each one will be ready to thrive in History during the next stage of their education.

Staff use a range of assessment and summative assessment to assess progress towards our key stage milestones and to measure the impact of our teaching and learning. We utilise spaced retrieval and regular low stakes quizzing, opportunities to present work and discussion to understand our children’s learning and to plan for next steps.

Our History Leader monitors progress for all children through our West Jesmond Deep Dives and takes actions to ensure every child achieves highly in History.