History at Ravensworth Terrace encourages children to develop a love of History and become enthusiastic historians. We use an enquiry approach across school where we encourage children to become History detectives who explore the past in exciting ways. We aim to bring our curriculum to life through the use of exciting trips and visitors and utilise the area which we live in order to make local History links explicit for our children. We use artefacts and a variety of source materials to help to excite, intrigue and ignite our children’s interest in History. Our knowledge rich curriculum allows the children to compare and contrast, to examine why and how things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We want the children to question, evaluate and debate the past and develop their own lines of enquiry. We believe that the skills that children learn through this subject can be applied in all aspects of life and will support children in being critical thinkers.
History projects are taught in Autumn and Summer Term with the exception of Year 2, who teach their Transport topic in Spring Term. Our History projects are sequenced to develop children’s historical knowledge, skills and subject disciplines. Each History project is based around a key enquiry question and then subsequent lessons are designed around sub questions in order to intrigue the children and to encourage them to work hard in order to find out the answers. Each History project begins with chronology and timelines are used to help children make links to other historical time periods studied and to contextualise learning.
In order for pupils to learn and remember more, each lesson begins with a refresh of previous learning. At the end of a project children express their learning through various means such as presentations, posters and speeches. Our local area is utilized well and Year 6 carry out a detailed study of Elisabethville and discover who the Birtley Belgians were. We work closely with the Birtley Heritage group and members of the wider community. This allows the children to gain a strong sense of where they live and the local history surrounding them. Our curriculum aims to make History ‘real’ and ‘relevant’ to the children.
Every class has a ‘Knowledge Wall’ which provides the opportunity for teachers to display key knowledge, work and vocabulary. Active learning strategies are also key in the way our history projects are taught and are intertwined into lessons. Knowledge organisers are central to our projects and our delivery of the curriculum. Children actively refer to them in every lesson and add to them as their knowledge grows.
Our children will have a good understanding of historical vocabulary and will ask and answer questions with growing confidence. As children progress through the school, they develop a good understanding of historical time periods and will develop a strong sense of chronology. They will develop knowledge and skills linked to this discipline as well as an appreciation for the history of their own local area. By the end of the children’s historical journey, we believe that they will have an understanding of their own identify and a sense of belonging which only history can provide.