St. Austin’s Catholic Primary School – History Curriculum Statement
At St. Austin’s Catholic Primary School, we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of History, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in History, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.
Intent – What we are trying to achieve?
• Our principal aim is that children leave St. Austin’s Catholic School with a wide range of happy and rich memories in History formed through interesting and exciting experiences driven through vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning in History as an on-going process not a one-off event.
• Children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in History, which will be taught by highly-qualified, enthusiastic staff who will support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
• All children will study History for 1 hour per week.
• Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, visiting places they may not normally consider such as castles and museums or places of historical interest.
• Children will develop a deep understanding of the subjects they are studying. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to solve problems and develop the sophistication of History.
• Children will understand how Catholic virtues and British Values relate to History.
• In History, children will develop the skills to appropriately use research and sources to consider historical information and to develop a range and depth of historical knowledge and chronological understanding.
• Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from the best that has been developed and said. For example, museum curators, college and university professors and historical researchers.
Scheme of Learning
The Scheme of Learning follows the National Curriculum. St Austin's subscribes to the Historical Association’s schemes of learning. The schemes allow for appropriate sequencing and aims to secure long-term memory as well as the enjoyment and necessary curiosity of learning history. The link is:
The key areas are concerned with building knowledge, developing understanding of the big ideas and processes of history, and the overall goal of history education: we want young people to gain an increasingly mature and informed historical perspective on their world. The areas are developed throughout KS1 and KS2 in order to prepare children for secondary education.
Implementation – How do we translate our vision into practice?
• The curriculum hours in History are non-negotiable and will be followed by all staff in the school. Fixed timetables will be set before the academic year and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
• Subject specialists from our partner secondary school, will be integral to the planning process. This will aid transition to Key Stage 3.
• The subject leader for History will meet the senior leadership team on a monthly basis to evaluate provision in order to ensure that teaching and learning in History is outstanding. Where necessary, staff will receive coaching and training in History.
• Carefully designed schemes of learning in History ensure consistency and progress of all learners.
• Vehicles drive learning throughout the term. Therefore, History is taught through the vehicle.
• Vehicles include guest speakers who are specialists in their field, trips to businesses, fieldwork to relevant places of interest, innovative use of technology to name but a few.
• History is taught individually but plays a key role in the achievement of the learning aims of the vehicle. For example, pupils looking to open a museum in their classroom may decide to visit a local museum or National Trust property to gain knowledge and understanding of the eras that they are working on. Pupils will also undertake a local History study with relevant experts being used in the teaching and learning process.
• Success criteria in every History lesson are set in order to guide children to achieve their potential. This ensures work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
• High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
• High quality input from experts and educational resources complement the delivery of specialist learning admirably. Children understand how History is used in the wider world including careers.
Each lesson will include live marking (as per the Marking and Feedback Policy). Books will be marked fortnightly following the Marking and Feedback Policy. Homework is not formally set in history but children are encouraged to take part in enrichment opportunities such as reading historical books, watching history programmes such as ‘Horrible Histories’ and visiting places of historical interest. High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early. An assessment grid is used to formally record an overview of progress of each child.
History is taught through the vehicle. This results in excellent cross-curricular opportunities. For example, a vehicle focusing on racing a car could result in the history lessons including an enquiry in the transport used by the Romans and the facts surrounding Roman roads. This could be further developed by identifying where Roman roads were located locally. This ensures that children are engaged and interested in the subject through the excitement of the vehicle. It also allows for the British Values of democracy, individual liberty, tolerance and respect to be highlighted, understood and practised by children.
- Children will learn about key figures from history ranging from King Cnut to Emmeline Pankhurst to Winston Churchill.
- They will also experience the following during Key Stage 2:
- Meeting and talking to history specialists including secondary teachers and UniversitY professors
- Gain an understanding from a business leader regarding the importance of learning about history
- Visit to at least one local and one national museum
- Visit to a place of local historical interest including the National Arboretum
- A cross-curricular understanding of key historical figures including examples such as the Frenchman Louis Pasteur in the history of medicines in science
Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on the students?
• Children are happy learners within History. They experience a wide range of learning challenges within the subject and know appropriate responses to them.
• Through History, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and fulfil their God-given talents.
• Visits within History have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
• Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in History reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in History and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.
The objectives of each Year group can be found at:
• There is a proven track record of test success that reflects the impact of deep learning.
• Clear outcomes focus and guide all History development plans and drive improvement.
• Fundamental British Values are evident in History and children understand how it can celebrate difference.
• Through wider reading in History, children will understand how events in History have influenced the modern world. Reading materials include horrible histories; BBC bitesize; Historical Association articles; BBC news along with a range of library books tailored to children’s reading ages.
• Children will understand how to decide the reliability of varied sources.
• Through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best of the best.