The intent for our History curriculum is based on the content and aims from the National curriculum, along with the views, values and beliefs of teachers at Avonwood. At Avonwood, the idea that history is an important and relevant subject resonates with us.
‘Pupils need to know that events in the past are connected to related events at the time and have a legacy, often lasting until today. This means thinking about the history curriculum planning as less of a stage set on which certain things happened and more of a chapter in the story which involves us all, up until today.’ Mary Myatt
We believe that high quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge of Britain’s past and that of the wider world as well as identify key points that are relevant to the development of their own culture and identity. 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. Our children should be equipped to ask perceptive questions, 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.
History lessons should be taught with our ethos in mind; inspire wonder and intellectual curiosity. Therefore, content should be delivered in a fun and engaging way and children should be left wanting to know more about the past. Therefore, some topics will be introduced with an exciting ‘hook’ day or exciting sparkly starter activity to get the children excited and enthused about their new learning.
The key coherent and chronological knowledge of the history of Britain and the wider world is taught through the framework of three vertical concepts. These vertical concepts provide lens through which to study and contextualise history, as well as a gradual, deep understanding of complex, more abstract ideas:
- ‘Quest for knowledge’ - How do people understand the world around them? What is believed; what is known; and what scientific and technological advances are made at the time? Why do people seek to rationalise?
- ‘Power, empire and democracy’ - Who holds power, and what does this mean for individuals at different levels of society? How is this power legitimised? How are people’s rights different in different political contexts?
- ‘Community and family’ – What is life like for people in different societies? How are these societies structured? How are family or community relationships different at different times and in different places?
Vertical concepts are revisited throughout our history projects, 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.