We believe that history forms an integral part of the curriculum and the study of history inspires children’s curiosity and encourages critical questions that develop their understanding of the society in which they live and the wider world. King’s Lynn and Norfolk have enjoyed a rich history and we feel it is essential that pupils have a clear understanding of this within the wider British and World context as a basis in which to develop pride in their community, their county and their country.
We want children to learn and be encouraged, to ask questions, think critically and develop judgments in order 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 place in time. By the end of their time in primary education pupils will have a chronological understanding of historical events starting with the stone age, right through to the growth of the British Empire, the reign of Queen Victoria and World Wars 1 and 2. The skills the children learn will be incorporated throughout the curriculum and not only as discrete history lessons.
The Curriculum aspires to create curious and knowledgeable young people, who hold a deep understanding and appreciation of the discipline of history, and are able to sift and weigh evidence to begin to formulate their own viewpoints and perspectives of the world.
The history curriculum has been designed to be both knowledge-rich and coherently sequenced. Knowledge, in the realm of history, means not only substantive knowledge of historical events, dates and people in the past, but also knowledge of substantive concepts in history (such as ‘empire’, ‘monarchy’ and ‘civil war’), and disciplinary historical concepts (such as evidence, causation, significance and interpretation).
The history curriculum allows children to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of local, British and world history. The substantive knowledge taught in the curriculum has been carefully chosen and sequenced using a largely chronological approach. Each unit of work should not be viewed as a stand-alone topic, but as a chapter in the story of the history of Britain and the wider world. In this sense, the chronological approach provides a solid framework, anchoring each unit within a wider narrative.
Children begin by learning about what a historian does, looking at basic sources and simplified perspectives to develop an appreciation and understanding of what it means to be a historian. As their substantive knowledge grows, children will be able to ask perceptive questions, analyse more complex sources and begin to use their knowledge to develop perspective.
Disciplinary concepts, such as continuity and change, cause and consequence and similarity, difference and significance, are explored in every unit, and children are supported to think outside of their current unit of work and apply these concepts across the curriculum. Children will be able to understand the causes of significant national and global events, (such as World War I), when they have some background knowledge of what happened before (such as the origins and growth of European empires, including the British Empire). Knowledge of substantive concepts and disciplinary concepts have been interleaved across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and apply these in different contexts.
The history curriculum is balanced to enable children to look in some depth at local, national and world history, encouraging children to explore the connection between significant events and people and how they have influenced the modern world. Some of these units, such as the units on The Early British Empire and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, will look at the influence that Britain had on the wider world, and how the wider world has influenced Britain.
From year to year, unit to unit, lesson to lesson, the curriculum supports children in making connections and building upon prior substantive and disciplinary knowledge. For example, the children develop a secure understanding of ‘monarchy’ in Britain. They begin to learn about British monarchs in Year 1, and build upon their knowledge of monarchy in British society throughout the curriculum, looking at the reigns of significant monarchs such as Henry II, Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, with a focus on understanding the transition from the autocratic and unlimited power of early monarchs to the limited constitutional role of contemporary British monarchs.
All of these units are studied to provide an understanding of the history of the wider world and our place within it.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children are equipped with historical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
To view the Curriculum Overview click here.