At Levens CE Primary School, our history curriculum aims to inspire our pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. It encourages pupils to ask critical questions enabling them to have a better understanding of the society in which they live and gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background.
Children develop their understanding about how events in the past have shaped the modern world and discover how and why things have changed over time.
In Early Years, children learn through many wide-ranging experiences that introduce the concept of time and change. They explore events in their own lifetime, for example looking at photographs of themselves as babies to describe how they have changed. Children will have many opportunities to observe change over time and discuss what they notice, for example the life cycle of a butterfly or the changing seasons through the school year. Their understanding of the past is also explored through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling. Pupils will take part in events that celebrate time such as anniversaries and birthdays. Children may also look at artefacts, e.g. old toys that their grandparents played with when they were little and make comparisons with their own toys.
In Key stage 1 pupils develop greater awareness of the past by asking and answering questions. They learn about significant individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements as well as historical places and people significant to our locality, such as Beatrix Potter and Levens Hall. They also learn about events within and beyond living memory that are nationally and globally significant, for example Neil Armstrong’s moon landing.
Although periods of history are not taught in order in Key stage two due to our mixed-age class structure, pupils develop a secure understanding of chronology by exploring the context of the periods of history covered in each topic. Children make connections and identify patterns in their studies; they have access to a wide range of different historical sources; they develop their understanding and use of historical vocabulary. Pupils gather information and evidence about the past before presenting their understanding in a range of creative ways including through art, computing, drama and writing.
Our history learning is enriched with visits offsite in each year. For example, Years 3+4 visit Hadrian’s Wall in their focus on The Roman Empire and Years 5+6 enjoy the opportunity to be history detectives when they handle Ancient Egyptian artefacts at the Liverpool World Museum.
Evidence about the impact of our curriculum is gathered in different ways and includes: quizzes at the end of topics to determine knowledge and understanding of a particular period of history; listening to children’s responses and contributions to discussions and questions; evaluating children’s understanding through their work. Our progression of skills assessment grids enable us to pinpoint attainment according to age-related expectation.