At Hazel Leys Academy we follow the national curriculum for history. In history pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They are taught where people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. Pupils are taught changes within living memory through the study of changes in toys and transport. Pupils are taught about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally such as the Great Fire of London and Remembrance Day. They also learn about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements such as Guy Fawkes, Florence Nightingale, Christopher Columbus and Queen Elizabeth II.
In history, our Key Stage 2 pupils study changes in Britain from the Stone Age until the end of the Viking era plus a study of a significant event in British history post 1066 – World War II. They study the achievements of European ancient civilisations and their impact on our world today such as the Ancient Greeks and non-European ancient civilisations such as the Mayans and Ancient Egyptians. In Key Stage 2 children follow a yearly cycle for history.
To enhance children’s learning in history, children participate in visits to outdoor locations such as West Lodge Farm, East Carlton Country Park, World War II evacuation experience day at Stibbington. Children also experience in school experience days such as a visit from a Roman soldier, a Viking experience day and British Celebration experiences such as holding a street party.
Topics are informed by the national curriculum and the Cornerstones Maestro topics and are sensitive to children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The history curriculum at Hazel Leys Primary Academy is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Hazel Leys aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past;
• Are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement;
• Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
The history curriculum at Hazel Leys Primary Academy draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children to develop their individual talents, realise their potential and aspire to become the very best they can be, regardless of background and ability. History lessons should be taught with our ethos in mind; inspire wonder and intellectual curiosity. We teach the National Curriculum through the Cornerstones Maestro curriculum.
There is no single lesson format at Hazel Leys, teachers use their professional judgement to decide the most appropriate format for teaching based on the concept being taught and what their assessment tells them about their learners.
The history overview demonstrates the history content of topics and when these are to be taught. Subject overviews provide the substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be learned as well as key questions for enquiry. Vertical concepts are revisited throughout our history learning, providing a consistent context that allows pupils to situate new knowledge in their wider historical understanding and revisit key themes throughout our history to help them better understand the world in which they live.
Our children should be equipped to ask perceptive questions and develop their enquiry skills i.e., to think critically, weigh evidence, sift evidence and develop perspective and judgements. They should also leave our school with a learned chronology of events from British history and the wider world.
We assess children’s understanding of the curriculum against age related expectations. A portfolio of these is available for each year group. Judgements are moderated with another school using the same topics.