EDGE HILL JUNIOR SCHOOL
The objectives of teaching History are:
To foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that History has to offer;
To enable children to know about significant events in British history, and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
To develop a sense of chronology;
To know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed, and in doing so, contributes to a child’s citizenship education;
To understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture, and to study some aspects of European history;
To have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
To help children understand society and their place in it so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
To develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation and local area.
History teaching, focuses on enabling children to think as historians. Edge Hill Junior school, places an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. We give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance.
We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of cross curricular learning, drama and storytelling in History teaching, and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways, and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’ about information they are given.
We recognise that in all classes, children have a wide range of ability in History, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
setting tasks of increasing difficulty, some children not completing all tasks;
grouping children in mixed ability groups to allow pupils to support each other in the learning process;
providing resources of different complexity, depending on the ability of the child;
Using classroom assistants to support children individually or in groups.
We use the New Curriculum for our planning in History. We ensure that there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and we plan progression into the schemes of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.
We carry out curriculum planning in History in three phases (long-term, medium- term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the History topics studied in each term; the subject coordinator devises this plan in conjunction with the Geography coordinator.
Some topics have a particular historical focus, when we place an increasing emphasis on independent historical study. We teach the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the New Curriculum through the corresponding programme of study.
We use the New Curriculum as the basis for our medium term plans as well, which give details of each unit of work for each term.
The class teacher uses lesson plans for each History lesson (short term plans). These plans list the specific learning outcomes for each lesson. The class teacher keeps these individual plans.
The Contribution of History to teaching in other curriculum areas:
Whenever possible and appropriate, cross curricular links should be identified in the teaching of History.
History contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that we use in the Literacy Hour are historical in nature. Children develop speech and language skills through discussing historical questions or presenting their findings to the rest of the class. Children’s speaking and listening skills are also enhanced through the use of drama and role play within History lessons. They develop their writing ability by composing reports, diary entries and letters.
The writing of the less able is supported by the use of writing frames and word banks.
The teaching of History, contributes to children’s mathematical understanding in a variety of ways. Children learn to use numbers when developing a sense of chronology through activities such as: creating time-lines and through sequencing events in their own lives. Children learn to interpret information presented in graphical or diagrammatic form
History contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship. Children develop self-confidence by having opportunities to explain their views on a number of social questions, such as how society should respond to poverty and homelessness. They discover how to be active citizens in a democratic society by learning how laws are made and changed, and they learn how to recognise and challenge stereotypes, and to appreciate that racism is a harmful aspect of society. They learn how society is made up of people from different cultures and they start to develop tolerance and respect for others.
In our teaching of History we contribute where possible, to the children’s spiritual development. We also provide children with the opportunity to discuss moral questions, or what is right and wrong through various historical topics. The History programme of study, enables children to understand that Britain’s rich cultural heritage can be further enriched by the multi-cultural British society of today.
Information and Communication technology enhances our teaching of History, wherever appropriate. The children use ICT in a variety of ways, such as word processing, finding information on the Internet, and presenting information through PowerPoint. They can make creative use of the digital camera to record photographic images.
All children will be given access to History irrespective of race, gender, and creed, level of ability or nationality. Mutual respect and tolerance for all cultures will be promoted through the study of History. This corresponds with the school’s curriculum policy of providing a broad and balanced education to all children.
Through our History teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents and those learning English as an additional language. We take all reasonable steps to achieve this.
When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style and differentiation – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively.
Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.
Children demonstrate their ability in History in a variety of different ways. Younger children might, for example, act out a famous historical event, whilst older pupils may produce a PowerPoint presentation. Teachers will assess children’s work by making informal judgements during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and uses this information to plan for future learning. Written or verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work.
At the end of a whole unit, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil. We pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year and to parents in an annual written report.
Monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in History is the responsibility of the History subject coordinator. The work of the subject coordinator also involves supporting colleagues in their teaching, being informed about current developments in the subject and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school.