The school's 'Champion' for history is Miss Nico Brooks.
Frequency of sessions: This change depending on the topic being studied, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be history and therefore there will be a high focus on historical skills. In other topics, there might not be a historical focus.
History teaching at Deanshanger is part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC); it focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first-hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources.
Staff at Deanshanger Primary School strive to passionately deliver history knowledge, skills and understanding making educated citizens who learn from the events, people and ideas that we study and developing a growing interest in building upon the past locally, nationally and internationally.
Aims and Objectives
To foster an interest in the past and to develop an understanding of how the past has influenced the present.
To develop a sense of chronology so the children can organise their understanding of the past.
To provide opportunities for investigation and learning using a wide range of sources and information.
To develop an understanding of how to interpret primary and secondary sources.
To distinguish between historical facts and interpretation.
To provide opportunities for children to develop their skills of enquiry, analysis and investigation.
To learn about key events in the history of their own locality, country and the world.
To organise information about past societies, making comparisons.
To promote pupils, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through the study of past societies.
To provide an inclusive curriculum that enables consideration of diversity.
History teaching at Deanshanger is part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC); it focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources.
Where possible, we 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 have very close links with Deanshanger’s Heritage Society and the British Legion. For example, the Deanshanger Heritage Society regularly maintain and update a local history display/installation in the school about specific themes. Recently this has included leisure activities over time.
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 and should consider the beliefs and values of that time.
Wherever possible, local, national and world events are incorporated into the school’s curriculum in order to enrich and embed learning. For example, VE Day, Remembrance Day, Chinese New Year….
For further information about the national curriculum guidance for history, click here.
Frequently asked questions
1. What decisions have been made about the history curriculum?
The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was chosen for the school in 2016 based on our local context and school make up. With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well-prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions. Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important.
2. How has the history curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?
Everything in our curriculum is supported and underpinned by our school values. The IPC focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first-hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources.
Staff at Deanshanger Primary School strive to passionately deliver history lessons that teach knowledge, skills and understanding making educated citizens who learn from the events, people and ideas that we study. This develops a growing interest in building upon the past locally, nationally and internationally.
3. How do we know that our history curriculum is working?
As a school we are also keen to hear how curriculum learning is progressing from the children's viewpoint and have set up subject elevation groups. In year group sessions, we share the children's learning in the chosen subject and understand their recalled knowledge, use of subject-specific vocabulary and their ability to apply skills and knowledge to an investigative type activity. These groups allow us to further improve our teaching and learning.
Assessment is carried out through the use of rubrics. These are specifically designed to support teachers in coming to a common awareness about learning and the stages and progression of learning in different subjects. In particular, the rubrics can be particularly helpful in focusing staff development sessions about learning in action and encouraging the process of ‘moderation’. The rubrics are also a tool to check on the progress of children’s learning in specific subjects or at specific stages of their school life.
Skills, knowledge and understanding are applied during history lessons, buddy share sessions and house events. History end of unit self-assessments completed by pupils also demonstrate progress over the unit. Children’s progress and attainment is measured through the use of rubrics, history walks, exit points, book looks and summative assessment during lessons. Visits to historical places of study support children with their learning during specific IPC units. Visitors or Virtual trips also support children with their learning in history.
4. What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the history and what examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery?
Throughout lockdown, teachers continued to teach a broad curriculum and all subjects continued to be covered. It is important to be mindful that although History was taught, we will never be completely sure how much of the work was independent or fully supported at home. Or how much the children engaged with it. This means that there will be gaps in learning for some if not many children. When returning and starting a history topic, it is important to make sure that recaps and knowledge harvests are carried out, in order to close the gaps that were made during remote learning.
5. What are the strengths of the history curriculum?
The strengths that have been noted from elevation groups have been that the children remember a lot of history learning from previous year groups and can talk about their previous learning. Pupils enjoy learning about the past.
6. What are the areas of the curriculum that need development?
It is evident that although children can talk about their previous history learning, their chronology of historical event or even events in their own life are not fully accurate yet. They need increase of knowledge of broad developments and historical periods, and their ‘mental timeline’ of the past. We are also building upon the use of appropriate historical language.
7. How do you lead professional development, provide guidance and support colleagues in history?
Staff meetings leading on from elevation groups have given the opportunity to discuss gaps and ideas on how to work on the weaknesses.
Staff have received IPC training on 6th December 2021. If staff were unable to attend training, they have received electronic copies via email.
Staff have access to the IPC pin board which offers ideas to teach a unit of work with pictures, examples of work and video calls. Staff can also add their own pictures, examples of work and videos to the pin board.
8. What history resources does the school have ?
Staff are encouraged to contact the subject champion once medium-term plans are completed in order to gather any resources they need from the school's supplies. If they are not available in school then they can be purchased through the school.
9. What would an external visitor see if they focused on history?
Visitors will hear pupils confidently discussing broader developments across the periods they had studied, and drawing on secure and well-organised knowledge of events and periods. They will see timelines in the classroom environment. These will be age specific. Visitors will see history learning in the children’s Everyday books.
Visitors will see lessons that based on the Tasks in the International Primary Curriculum and can take place outside or in the classroom, for example learning about how fossils are formed through photographs, historical artefacts, primary and secondary sources and then creating their very own fossils, during the IPC unit, Scavengers and Settlers. Resources will be being utilised during lessons like the timeline. Visitors will see good quality history work in books or on tapestry that children are able to talk about and examples of cross-curricular work, for example, writing an information text about how fossils are formed. Visitors should see a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding of History across the school.
Differentiation in History lessons is vital if all learners are to achieve to their potential. Yet differentiating is something that is regularly picked up on in lesson observations as being lacking, or in need of improvement.
Different pupils prefer to learn in different ways, so its important to cover a concept or content area in a number of ways. Tell them, show them, manipulate them via Active Learning, get them making or doing something. Not only does use of lots of short activities add pace, it also ensures that pupils will have more of an opportunity to get to grips with the issue at hand. SEND pupils may benefit from a more hands on approach whereas your higher ability children may be more visual learners and prefer texts over manipulatives.
Pupil premium children are also provided with resources to meet their individual learning needs using their funding and looking closely at their learning styles.