At Dunston Hill, we aim to inspire our children to be curious and excited to learn about the past and how events, people and places have shaped the world we live in today. History is a time for our children to engage and explore!
We intend for our children to understand the world around them, making links to local History wherever possible and applicable, so that children understand and can explain how History impacts their lives and the lives of their families before them. In addition, our range of enriching activities and resources mean that History at Dunston Hill sparks excitement; this is at the forefront of our curriculum.
Our History curriculum takes a two-fold approach to learning, to ensure that not only do our children become confident talking about the past in terms of knowledge, but they also become more competent applying historical skills. At Dunston Hill, children build on substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge from year to year, to appreciate how the people, places and events of the past have shaped our future. With an enquiry approach, learning is focused on allowing children to use evidence to find their own voice and make their own independent conclusions. Our curriculum supports children to be able to:
- Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day, including how Britain has changed over time and the impact of significant individuals here and abroad.
- Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements of mankind; events that have had a lasting impact.
- Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of substantive concepts, such as ‘monarchy,’ ‘civilisation’ and ‘conquer’.
- 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 to support or make historical claims and build a picture of the past, as well as understand how and why interpretations of History are formed.
At Dunston Hill, we believe all children are included and have access to all History learning. History is a thrilling subject, with lots of opportunities for all children to engage and be inspired by what they find out. By studying the History of different localities, cultures, groups of people and countries, humanities teaching and learning takes an active role in promoting equal opportunities and stopping discriminatory attitudes, whilst planning and delivering some topics, such as the Holocaust, with sensitivity. At Dunston Hill, History is very personal to our local area in order to motivate learners and facilitate them to be able to speak about their learning with more confidence.
We ensure that children are engaged in History through a variety of means, including: Boxes of Delight, which brings artefacts into school for the children to explore; trips, which can bring learning to life either to inspire a new unit of work or conclude one; links to local History, which we feel is essential to allow the children to better understand the immediate ‘world’ around them. We also are very proud of our partnership with Heritage England and all of their wonderful resources!
In our Early Years Foundation Stage, History is woven into the seven areas of learning and development. However, primarily historical skills will begin to develop through understanding of the world and personal, social and emotional development. Within our EYFS phase, children will begin to understand a concept of time, including ‘now’ and ‘then’ as well as begin to discuss changes they themselves have undergone.
Key Stage 1
As the children move into Year 1, a child-centric focus will continue and the children will explore the history of their family members, learning how to identify similarities and differences through observations and discussion. In addition, they will explore the lives of people in different time periods and the impact of significant events. Throughout Key Stage One, the children will develop their vocabulary of everyday historical terminology, ask and answer questions and show their understanding by explaining their understanding of key events. In Key Stage One, children will begin to explore how we know about the events of the past. Through units of work based around toys, monarchy, nurses, ships, space and Great Fires, the children will be inspired through our skill- and knowledge-based approach to learning to forge a curiosity and fascination about the world, the people within it and also the people and practices that have come before.
Key Stage 2
Pupils in Key Stage Two will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge. Each unit of work will build progressively and chronologically to support this knowledge and to allow the children to make connections and contrast trends over time. Regularly, the children will visit concepts of cause, change, similarity, difference and significance through our enquiry-based approach to learning. In addition, the children will select information, from a range of sources, to construct their own responses to thought-provoking questions. During Key Stage Two, children will begin to develop an understanding of how sources may be influenced and this can change how we view them.
Through our curriculum of progressive knowledge and skills, our children leave Dunston Hill with a knowledge of all aspects of the History National Curriculum, along with confidence to learn about the past more independently. Our curriculum inspires the children to be curious and thoughtful about the past, whilst also strengthening their independence to develop critical thinking and perhaps a new perspective. History at Dunston Hill intends to ensure children understand the concepts of change, cause, consequence and significance along with the complexities of people’s lives, cultures and societies.
Teachers will assess History throughout each unit of work and use end of unit, overarching enquiries to inform planning and provide for the children’s emerging needs. Staff also engage in CPD opportunities, including training from external visitors and the History Subject Lead.