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History at St Robert Bellarmine
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
At St Robert Bellarmine, we believe that high-quality history lessons inspire children to want to know more about the past and to think as and be historians. We plan our history curriculum in line with the aims of the National Curriculum and believe that a high-quality history education will inspire in our pupils a curiosity and fascination about Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Teaching in this school is aimed at giving all pupilsa broad, in-depth knowledge while also allowing them the opportunity to develop, master and deepen key historical skills.
History fires children's curiosity about the past, the world in which they are now living in and how it has been shaped by the people and events before them. At St Robert Bellarmine, we have planned our history curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. By linking learning to a range of topics, children have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. Children will develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people; what previous societies were like; and how their beliefs and values influenced their lives. They will see the diversity of the human experience and come to understand more about themselves as individuals and as part of a wider society.
The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time here and also to their further education and beyond. In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in history, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. We work hard to ensure that learning is built upon each year, to give our children the opportunity to continually progress in history.
History at St Robert Bellarmine is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve a depth of understanding in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group and across every child’s journey from EYFS to Year 6. We teach through the use of threshold concepts to ensure links can be made as children study different areas of the National Curriculum.
At the beginning of each topic, children have opportunities to engage in pre-learning activities to allow them to begin to develop their own curiosity surrounding a particular topic. They also have opportunities to discuss what they already know. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. We use a range of strategies and techniques to ensure our children are pushed to reach their full potential. Knowledge organisers are a very important tool in helping children learn and remember new information and transfer this information to their long-term memory. Our children are provided with the knowledge they need at the beginning of a new topic and have opportunities to continually refer back to this throughout the year. Low stakes quizzes are regularly used to support children with remembering their new historical learning. Expectations are high and through our planning approach of basic, advancing and deep knowledge activities, all children have opportunities to deepen their learning at an individual level.
At St Robert Bellarmine, we ensure that history has the same importance given to it as the core subjects in terms of how we plan and develop learning in this subject. We feel this is fundamental in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. Relevant trips and visits are planned to bring history to life and give context to what children need to know. Our staff are committed to ensuring they dedicate specific time each year to develop their own subject knowledge and become better historians for the benefit of our children.
At St Robert Bellarmine History learning is loved by teachers and pupils across school. Teachers have high expectations as well as children and they strive to reach their full potential with confidence. The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at St Robert Bellarmine are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be better equipped and ready for the wider world. We aim to develop children with essential characteristics to help them become historians; excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events and contexts from a range of historical periods, including significant events in Britain’s past. Children have the ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas confidently to a range of audiences, the ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using historical evidence from a range of sources. They have a respect for historical evidence and the ability to make critical use of it to support their learning.
Assessment is crucial in improving learning. Formative assessment is used regularly to inform teachers of ongoing progress and allows adjustments to be made that reflect the learning needs of all children in our school. Feedback is continually given to children which leads to better outcomes in history. In line with our school assessment policy, summative assessment in the form of teacher assessment is carried out at the end of each topic to inform the overall progress made by each child on a yearly basis.
We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about history, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future and be able to understand the part they play in it. All children in the school will be able to communicate confidently about their history learning, skills and knowledge.