History

Our subject lead for history is Mrs B Cox.
 
The aims for our history curriculum taken from the National Curriculum
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 History – key stages 1 and 2 2
  • 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.
Intent
Our history curriculum challenges and inspires children’s curiosity about events of their own families’ past, Britain’s past and that of the wider world.  It is carefully planned and structured through our History Milestone Documents to ensure that current learning is progressive and builds on previous knowledge and skills.  
At Russell, we aim to develop the minds of every child by ensuring they know more, remember more and understand more about the past and the affect it has on their lives today.  For example, a year one child will be building on from ‘talking about past and present events in their own live and the lives of family members’ (ELG – Understanding the World) to what comes next by ‘discussing events within and beyond living memory that are significant nationally and globally’ (Y2 History Milestones).
Russell Lower School endeavours to provide enjoyable learning experiences, enrichment opportunities and an environment that will enable children to question and challenge historical events. With Ampthill’s Georgian history, links to King Henry Vlll and Catherine of Aragon, our curriculum makes use of resources within the immediate local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.  
Our desire is to also develop children’s cultural capital through trips and visits to historical sites. For example, in the spring term our Year 3 children visited Celtic Harmony as part of their Stone Age to Iron Age theme and experienced Ancient Britain first-hand in the UK’s largest reconstructed prehistory settlement. One of our children said ‘The trip was so interesting. It helped me understand how important animal skin, wood, stone and bones were to the people living in the Stone Age.’

We aim to develop SMSC through our history curriculum by:

  • Spiritual: allowing pupils to see the similarities between people now and in the past and bringing them alive through primary and secondary sources, artefacts and visitors. For example, in the summer term in Year 1, a visitor from ‘History Off the Page’ creates a Victorian Seaside reconstruction where the children can experience what a day at the seaside would have been like for children living in the Victorian times
  • Moral: helping children to empathise with the decisions which ordinary people made at the time based on their historical situation for example during the Great Fire of London and The Great plague (Year 2)
  • Social: encouraging pupils to think about what past societies have contributed to our culture today. For example, the study of World war I in year 4
  • Cultural: examining how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ‘British’ culture. For example, the study of the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain in Year 4

At Russell, we also aim to promote British values through History by looking at the achievements of famous British people (Famous Queens, Florence Nightingale, Scott and Shackleton – KS1) where children develop an awareness of how they influenced and shaped the country in which we live. We teach children to respect and value different viewpoints and ideas as well as encouraging them to work effectively together both individually and as part of a team.

Long term plans
Milestone example
Further milestone documents for all year groups are available, on request, to demonstrate our skill progression.