History Statement of Intent
At St Michael with St John, we aim to equip our children with the skills to overcome life’s challenges and make a positive contribution to society. Our History curriculum is vital for this and tailored to the children at our school, to enable them to learn about the triumphs and mistakes of people from the past, give them deep, lasting knowledge about important events and develop a broad and rich vocabulary. We believe that experiential learning opportunities, where pupils are engaged in their own learning, generate ‘sticky knowledge’ and enable children to form schemas and make connections about life. We have a strong emphasis on oracy, writing and vocabulary acquisition within our History lessons, in addition to developing the key skills of History, including, comparison, enquiry, communication and developing a secure understanding of chronology.
For each new History topic, pupils are provided with a cover sheet and knowledge organiser that contain all of the important vocabulary for children to acquire and use. They are given this prior to starting the topic and are encouraged to learn the key facts on there, which is reinforced by weekly ‘quick quizzes’ at the start of each History lesson. The vocabulary on the knowledge organisers and cover sheets are paired with clear pictures and diagrams so that they are inclusive and accessible for all children. The working walls in our classrooms also contain vocabulary, key facts and eye-catching visual stimuli for pupils’ reference. Throughout our History lessons, we promote discussion and enquiry, using good oracy skills and finish each sequence of lessons with a group presentation from the pupils, who share what they have found out about that topic, using subject-specific vocabulary. We value the use of artefacts and sources within History lessons that pupils explore and analyse to pose questions and find hypotheses from. In every topic and year group, pupils are tackled with big questions, requiring them to make links to prior learning throughout our History scheme. Their knowledge is applied in each unit with a ‘Writing Across the Curriculum’ task.