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Foxdell Primary School

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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. (National Curriculum 2014)

At Foxdell Primary School, our history curriculum has been designed to allow children to acquire skills and knowledge which can then be used and built upon as they progress through the school. Pupils experience a rich curriculum, enabling them to recognise similarities and differences between cultures throughout history and they appreciate how our lives today in Britain have been influenced by events in the past. Concepts, vocabulary and knowledge form an integral part of the enquiry based  history curriculum, with pupils learning about inspirational figures and those who have served their communities throughout history.


The study of history involves engaging pupils by beginning each unit of work by examining the contextual timeline and prior knowledge of the up and coming topic. Pupils are offered opportunities to question and make initial observations, comparing what they are learning to their lives today. This enables them to become enlightened citizens in line with our values curriculum.Through the study of history,  pupils develop a wide range of critical thinking skills and the ability to distinguish  between fact and subjectivity when it comes to studying sources of information and  making judgements about the past. We have established a school curriculum plan  for history as an entitlement for all pupils that is:  

  • Aspirational: We instill in our pupils a desire to achieve the highest levels of success through providing them with the opportunities to excel in acquisition of long lasting knowledge and understanding and mastery of core historical skills. These high aspirations are clearly identifiable in the progressive and increasingly challenging objectives of the scheme of work which define clearly what the pupils will know, understand and be able to do.
  • Broad and balanced: We have ensured that the content, as a minimum, reflects the demands of the National Curriculum. Pupils study representative investigations of British History spanning the period from the Stone Age to the current day. As well as enquiries focusing on the achievements of ancient civilizations such  as the Maya, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.

  • Relevant: Careful consideration has been given to the selection of every historical enquiry that extend the knowledge and understanding of pupils. Pupils gain a chronological understanding of the historical eras and events they are studying.

  • Progressive: The curriculum is progressively  more challenging from Years 1 through 6 both in terms of the complexity of the subject knowledge we want our pupils to acquire and also the critical thinking skills we support them to utilise in order to ensure they understand the  significance of that knowledge. These anticipated outcomes in knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition are detailed in the objectives of the detailed scheme of work for each enquiry. Our history curriculum has continuity with the provision for history established in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  •  Inclusive: All pupils are able to access the curriculum, without lowering expectations. Clear support and meaningful activities are in place, along with scaffolds and challenges to support pupils in meeting the demands of the work. Different learning models, in class guidance and learning environments aim to foster independence in learning.

We use a skills based approach to teaching and learning in history which develops our pupils as young, knowledgeable historians.


Our pupils not only build subject knowledge and understanding but become increasingly adept at critical thinking, the use of specialised vocabulary and their grasp of subject concepts. History lessons are  brought to life through memorable experiences including visiting theatres, going on trips and a variety of exciting and challenging activities. We structure learning in history through enquiries about relevant historical topics, places and  themes. Our curriculum is therefore ‘knowledge rich’ rather than ‘content heavy’ so as not to restrict opportunities for pupils to master and apply critical  thinking skills and achieve more challenging subject outcomes.  


We adopt immersive learning in history that provides sufficient time and  space for our pupils not only to acquire new knowledge and subject vocabulary but also to develop subject concepts and understand the significance of what they have  learned. As children progress through their learning, they revisit the key vocabulary,  deepening their understanding of the historical terminology within different history  projects. Our learning and teaching in history is interactive and practical, with  opportunities for pupils to work independently, in pairs and in groups of various sizes  both inside and outside of the classroom. Prior learning is revisited to enable  children to make meaningful connections. Only in this way, will knowledge become  embedded and we ensure that our pupils can build on what they know and  understand from one year to the next. 


Each historical enquiry has clear objectives and anticipated outcomes, which enable pupils to build their knowledge and understanding, as well as develop the necessary skills to make them successful historians.  


Each history lesson has a clear objective and set outcomes for pupils in terms of  knowledge, understanding and skills acquisition. Lessons are inspiring, challenging and scaffolded to ensure that all children are engaged and able to access the curriculum. When assessing pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process, including  interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, day-to-day  observations, practical activities such as artwork and role play drama, the gathering,  presentation and communication of information and writing responses. The  outcomes of each lesson serve to  inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and to plan future learning accordingly. Outcomes are used to build an  emerging picture of what the pupil knows, understands and can do.    


At the end of each term, we make a summative judgement about the achievement of  each pupil. At this point teachers decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether  the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning outcomes, exceeded  expectations or is still working towards the age-related expectation.


These decisions  are based on the professional knowledge and judgement that teachers possess about the progress of each pupil, which  allows an informed and holistic judgement of attainment to be made. Achievement against the learning objectives for history at the end of the year is used as the basis  of reporting progress to parents.