The aim of history teaching here at Orgill Primary School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. In our school, history makes a significant contribution to citizenship education by teaching about how Britain developed as a democratic society. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
The aims of history in our school are:
- to foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
- to enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
- to develop a sense of chronology;
- to know and understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and, in so doing, to contribute to a child’s citizenship education;
- to understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history;
- to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
- to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
- to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
At Orgill, our main aim when teaching History is to enable children to think as historians. Our teaching of history is planned and taught using The Learning Challenge Curriculum.
What are the main principles?
The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work.It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point.
In designing the curriculum, teachers and pupils are using a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the starting point. Using the information gained from pre-learning tasks (such as mind mapping) a series of subsidiary challenges, also expressed as questions, are then planned.These learning challenges all fulfil the National Curriculum requirements of History at Key Stages 1 and 2.
It is important that the learning challenges make sense to the children and be something that is within their immediate understanding.
How are learners presented with opportunities to reflect on their learning?
We believe that time for our children to reflect or review their learning in History is central to the whole learning process.
Teachers hand over the final subsidiary learning challenge to the children to reflect on their learning.The idea is that the children present their learning back to the rest of the class or other appropriate audience, making the most of their oracy and ICT skills to do so.
Although reflection is seen as a concluding part of the prime learning challenge, teachers also ensure that there are continuous opportunities for children to reflect frequently.
In each key stage, we also give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past and have Key Texts linked to each Learning Challenge. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given.