Curriculum Intent

At St Joan of Arc Primary our children will learn that our history is fascinating and that diverse communities migrating and settling in Britain over time has had a significant impact in shaping Britain today. We encourage all pupils to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, and build an overview of the history of Britain as well as that of the wider world. We also help children to understand how people have lived in the past and compare this to modern life and their own experiences. The handling of real artefacts, workshops and visits to historical places provides children with the opportunity for exploring history in a unique way and we try to develop opportunities for this where possible. We teach children to communicate using historical vocabulary whilst building a love and curiosity through thinking and acting as historians. Children benefit from learning through a wide range of high-quality activities where they engage in debates, discussions and research. While studying history, we explore and evaluate the past to understand and question historical achievements, decisions and actions.

Curriculum Implementation

Our history curriculum gives all children opportunities to achieve their best.  The Rising Stars History scheme is the framework used by our school to help plan and deliver the history curriculum. Teachers adapt the planning to meet the needs of the children in their classroom. Planning is also adapted to consider and utilise our local area, as are Educational visits as they offer the opportunity for additional history learning to occur outside of the classroom. Each history unit builds on previous knowledge and helps the children to make sense of the present as well as the past, and to appreciate the complexity and diversity of human societies and development. The key knowledge and skills of each topic have been identified and carefully mapped out across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of history through the teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. This aspect of children’s learning is about how children find out and discover past and present events in their own lives and their families’. Children develop a sense of change over time and are given opportunities to track the passing of time through seasonal change, stories and looking at photos of the past and present.

In Key Stage 1 and 2, history is taught in three discrete blocks across the year, giving children opportunities to achieve a deep understanding of each topic with cross curricular links planned in where appropriate. Our units of work all follow a line of enquiry, a ‘key question’, which is referred to throughout the unit of work. Each lesson builds on previous learning and supports all children to be able to answer the ‘key question’. During their time in Key stage 1 children will look at changes within living memory by answering the questions such as ‘What was life like when our grandparents where children?’ They will research the Great Fire of London as a significant event beyond living memory and look at significant individuals such as Ibn Battuta, Sunita Williams and the Wright brothers. Valda James and Edward Halley who are significant people from our local area are also studied. Throughout Key stage 2 the children will develop their knowledge and understanding on what Britain was like during the Stone Age, The Bronze Age and the Iron Age. They will discover and decide how much the Ancient Greeks achieved, debate whether the Anglo- Saxon period was really a dark Age and research why we should remember The Maya Civilisation.

Curriculum Impact

Children leaving St. Joan of Arc Primary School will have built a firm foundation of historical knowledge and vocabulary. They will have a great understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. They will be able to recall dates and specific historical events which have shaped Great Britain and the wider world. They will be able to compare and contrast, ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Children have a very positive attitude towards their history learning and during Pupil Voice interviews so many requested for more time to be given to history each week!