At Enfield Academy of New Waltham, we aim to offer a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils 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 national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- 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 rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Our History curriculum aims to excite the children and allow them to develop their own skills as historians. As part of Cornerstones curriculum, our curriculum allows opportunities for cross-curricular links to be made to ensure the children have many occasions where by they can apply their knowledge and understanding.
Pupils can talk about past and present events in their own lives and of family members.
Key stage 1
Pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
In the KS1 classroom your timelines will continue to develop the understanding of sequence introduced in the Foundation Stage. As part of this work, pupils will begin to look at interval and duration. Timelines should support an understanding of significance too, as children debate what to include and why.
Personal timelines are a common feature in KS1, but to develop these further, make sure they include local and national events. Class timelines should feature key moments from all time periods studied, while also making links to the present day.
When studying significant people at KS1, remember to add them to the timeline, but also create separate detailed timelines of their lives. It is important to remember to put each significant person’s life within a context by making links to both the local and national events happening at that time.
The same applies for significant events. Add them to the timeline, but also create a separate timeline of the event itself, such as the Great Fire of London.
Pupils are taught about:
- Changes within living memory.
- Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.
- The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
- Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.
Key stage 2
Pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. Although our curriculum is not taught in chronological order, where different periods in history are taught, links are made to where it fits within historical chronology and how the period links to other periods in time. They note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. By the time children reach Upper Key Stage 2, they should understand the principle of sequencing and be able to understand where eras occurred in relation to each other. To really understand the scale of history we must teach children that events do not occur one after another.
Timelines for this age group are needed to support an understanding of the ‘big picture history’. Parallel timelines should be used to place people and events in a broader historical context. This means that the timeline for the topic taught will run alongside others that illustrate the local and international context. For example, while studying the Anglo-Saxons, make links to what is happening in other parts of the world in that era – the Maya civilisation, for example. Looking at local place names should help you track settlement and events in your area related to the time period, which can then be featured in the timeline.
At this age pupils still tend to think that one period abruptly stops and another starts, so it’s important to challenge this misconception and illustrate how time periods overlap. Pupils may be surprised to find that the early Anglo-Saxon period overlaps with the Roman era, and that much of the later stage of this 600-year period overlaps with the Vikings.
When you begin a new enquiry, always remember to place the period on a timeline within the wider historical framework of what you have previously studied – and also the present day.
Pupils are taught about:
- Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
- The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
- Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
- The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
- A local history study
- A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
- The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
- Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world
- A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
Outcomes in topic books, evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and skills. Children review their successes in achieving the lesson objectives at the end of every session, with these being identified, shared and verified by teachers as necessary. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every topic, via the means of a range of short proof of progress tasks. Within the cornerstones project innovate stage, children will be able to show progress through application of skills.
As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of local and world history. Local history is not included in Cornerstones in KS2 therefor a separate mini topic is added at the end of the academic year. History is monitored on a termly basis by the subject leader.