Onslow Infant School aims to provide a high-quality history education, which will enable children to develop a coherent knowledge and understanding of the history of Onslow Village, the United Kingdom and the wider world. The children’s historical journey throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1 will be stimulating and enjoyable, ensuring that they develop a genuine love for the subject. Through an engaging curriculum, we aim to inspire children’s curiosities about the past. Our aim is to fulfil the requirements of the national curriculum with effective, enquiry based teaching, which will equip the children with historical skills and knowledge, and enable them to ask questions and think critically about answers. EYFS aim for all children to achieve the ‘Understanding the World’ Past and Present early learning goal by the end of the academic year.
The above curriculum intent is embedded within our history curriculum. Starting with the relevant history part of the early learning goal and the subject content outlined in the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Key Stage 1, we have developed a curriculum map that ensures coverage and progression across the key stages.
In the foundation stage our youngest children embark on understanding the past and present by thinking about their own personal history. This provides them with the opportunity to discuss changes in their own lives and the lives of others, thus setting the foundations of chronology. This stimulates children with a curiosity to learn about lives of others beyond living memory.
As the children progress into Key Stage 1, the foundations developed in the early years are built upon, primarily through topic based learning. Through this, the children can engage and become fully immersed in the topic, making it easier to remember what is being taught and thus embed key learning, knowledge and skills. Our local environment is studied in Key Stage 1, and this gives children an understanding of their own locality. We provide children with the opportunity to develop an understanding of how past events have influenced life today. The children learn about events which are significant nationally and globally and how the achievements of individuals have had a significant impact on people in the past and present day. We ask questions about changes that have happened in our lifetime and through a series of enquiry based, and engaging lessons, and field trips, our children develop a true love for learning about history. Each history lesson will begin by revisiting and consolidating previous learning, ensuring a firm foundation upon which to build. To encourage historical enquiry, we often pose a question to investigate or a problem to solve. The children must then use their history skills and knowledge to investigate solutions or answers.
It is our aim to ensure learning is accessible to all. With skillful guidance, modelling, clear explanations, and scaffolding of tasks the children become successful, happy historians. Where appropriate, activities are adapted to suit different abilities, learning needs and styles.
Each year group has a dedicated outdoor space and carefully thought out history activities linked to the weekly learning objectives are available outside during the day. Children experience history activities within the classroom, school grounds, the local environment and school visits further afield.
We use a variety of ways to find out what the children know. At the start of each lesson the subject title is discussed, e.g. “Now we are learning history, what is this?” and prior learning is recapped and assessed to ascertain what the children know and remember from previous sessions. We randomly select children, but also target individuals to answer questions and make observations during the session and ask the children to explain their thinking. We make links to previous topics/skills covered to assess if the children have remembered previous learning and if they understand how these are relevant to current learning. We also collect photographic evidence using Tapestry where we can also link evidence to curriculum strands and key skills.
For Early Years, we consider the intended learning taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and assess if children are working at or below the expected level. For KS1, the same applies in line with the National Curriculum for history. This information is shared with teachers during yearly handover meetings to ensure gaps in learning are addressed.
Monitoring in history includes lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil voice interviews/questionnaires in order to ascertain correct curriculum coverage, the quality of teaching and learning as well as the children's attitudes to learning in history. This information is then used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.