Headlands Primary School | History Narrative

A quality history curriculum will support children in understanding Britain’s past and that of the wider world. They will become curious to know more about the past and will be equipped to ask perspective questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. They will understand the complexity of people’s lives and the process of change over time. Children will develop an understanding of the diverse societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and challenges of their time.

During KS1, children will develop their knowledge of changes within living memory, the lives of significant individuals and historic events that occurred nationally or within their locality. The following areas of focus have been selected: Queen Elizabeth II, Edith Cavell and Mary Seacole, the Northampton Boot and Shoe Industry, The Great Fire of Northampton, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong and The Great Fire of London. They will also complete two short units in each year about Remembrance Day and The Gunpowder Plot. This range of units will build historical knowledge, significant achievements of both men and women in History and an awareness of significant annual events. It will also provide the opportunity for children to develop their awareness of the history of Northampton.

During KS2, with reference to the National Curriculum, children will gain coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and the legacy both at the time and that influences our lives today. This has been done through attention to chronology, the study of a range of time periods, and through the study of local history.

During Lower Key Stage 2 the following areas of focus have been selected: The Stone Age through to the Iron Age, The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Ancient Egypt and The Changing Power of Monarchs between 1066 -1605. Opportunities to develop their understanding of local history will be made explicit throughout.

During Upper Key Stage 2, the following areas of focus have been selected: The Industrial Revolution, Walter Tull (World War I), World War II, Benin AD 900 – 1300 and The impact on British culture (Greeks or Egyptians). Local historical knowledge will continue to be developed through the study of Walter Tull in Year 5.

Children will therefore move to secondary school with a chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and world history. They will be able to note connections, contrasts and trends over time and will develop the appropriate use of historical terms.

The following high dividend concepts have been identified as part of the NPAT history curriculum: conflict, community, culture, trade, locality, legacy, change and power (including monarchy). These will form the Big Ideas’ through which all history will be taught. Teachers will make explicit reference to where children have met these concepts before in the curriculum.

Local history has been planned as part of whole term units in Years One, Two and Five.

The curriculum has been carefully constructed to ensure children obtain a solid understanding of key historical concepts and knowledge. This is a knowledge-rich history curriculum. Knowledge is given a high status and the aim is to empower our children and carefully build their understanding of the subject. The knowledge content is specified in detail and is taught to be remembered, not just encountered. Knowledge is sequenced and mapped deliberately and coherently so that beyond the knowledge specified for each unit there are vertical and horizontal links.

These will promote the construction of a secure historical schema. There will also be opportunities to make diagonal links to other disciplines which have been explicitly planned for.

Horizontal links will be explicitly made e.g. Year Three children learn about the impact of the Romans on Britain in Autumn One, including the invasion, culture, the rebellion of the Celts and the legacy. When they learn about the Anglo-Saxons teachers will explicitly link the chronology, how the culture of the Anglo-Saxons was different to that of the Romans etc. Where there is legacy within a time period then this will be explored explicitly. If there is no real legacy, then this will also be explored.

Vertical links will be made where knowledge and understanding are built upon from previous history units. E.g., In Year 2, the Great Fire of London unit will build upon knowledge and understanding from the Year 2 unit, the Great Fire of Northampton.

Diagonal links will be made, particularly where this is cross-curricular. e.g., links between History and Geography - such as the Northampton Boot and Shoe Industry (History) with Where I Live (Geography), The Romans (History) with Natural Disasters - Pompeii (Geography) and Ancient Egypt (History) with From Nene to Nile (Geography).

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