Merton Bank Primary School

'Never less than our best'

School Roper Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1EJ

0174422104

mertonbank@sthelens.org.uk

History

Caring          Respect          Empathy          Courage          Resilience 

History Subject Leaders: Mrs Richardson and Mrs Chuard

Intent

History lessons at Merton Bank ensure that all children are provided with the opportunity to reach their full potential, within a positive and nurturing environment. Through an engaging and challenging history curriculum we encourage children to become motivated and resilient learners who are never less than their best. The children undertake a broad and balanced programme of study that takes account of abilities, attitudes, and physical, emotional, and intellectual development.

Through history the children learn and develop a range of skills, concepts, attitudes, and methods of working. There are numerous key aims which are integrated into history teaching and learning, some of which correlate closely with our ‘British values’ curriculum.

During History at Merton Bank we aim to implement the following aims:

  • To instil in children a curiosity and understanding of events, places and people from a variety of times and environments.
  • To develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations.
  • To understand and appreciate the values of our society.
  • To learn about the major issues and events relating to the history of our own country and of the world, as well as to understand how these events may have influenced one another.
  • To develop a knowledge of chronology (within which the children can organise their understanding of the past).
  • To understand how the past is different from the present and that people of other times and places may have had different values and attitudes from ours.
  • To understand the nature of evidence by emphasising the process of enquiry and by developing the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source materials.
  • To distinguish between historical facts and the interpretation of those facts, including reliable and unreliable resources.
  • To understand that events have a multiplicity of causes and that historical explanation is provisional, debatable and sometimes controversial.
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Implementation

The aims are always considered closely during the planning process for history across school. At Merton Bank we use the Collins Primary Connected History scheme of learning. Teachers plan from a medium-term overview, which provides focused enquiry-based questions related to particular periods in history. When exploring these questions, teachers plan meaningful learning experiences carefully, based around age related history objectives and ancillary questions, which correspond to the three strands of learning; chronological understanding, historical enquiry and knowledge and interpretation. The Connected History programme does not attempt to teach topics in their entirety as this often leads to an overemphasis on content and ‘knowing’, rather than on enabling pupils to achieve higher order outcomes by building concepts and applying knowledge, skills and processes from one historical context to another. Instead, our programme of study asks big questions about historical topics, significant people and events.

History knowledge and skills will often be taught in a cross-curricular context, enabling children to make links between their skills, knowledge and understanding across a range of subjects. Knowledge Organisers will be stuck in books for the children to refer to throughout each topic. The activities planned for in history build upon the prior learning of the children. We provide children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, thereby ensuring continuity and progression as they move up through the school. SEND children will access their current year group objectives where appropriate but, on occasion, may be taught prior objectives from a previous year group in order to ensure a secure foundation of knowledge and understanding.

At Merton Bank, assessment is an integral part of the teaching process. Assessment is used to inform planning and to facilitate differentiation. The assessment of children’s work is on-going and responsive to ensure progress is made by all. It is not anticipated that every learning outcome will be assessed in every enquiry, but it is recommended that teachers select a sample of outcomes to assess in each enquiry to build up a developing picture of how a pupil is progressing as a young historian. The focus should be on whether the pupil has shown that they have been able to, for example: identify; describe; compare and contrast; explain; make a judgment or evaluate and record. Feedback is provided to children in a timely fashion and work is marked in accordance with the school’s marking policy; this affords children the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with their teacher about their learning.

The role of the history subject leader is to monitor and support colleagues in the teaching of history; in order to do so they must be informed about current developments in the subject and provide strategic lead and direction for the subject across school.

Monitoring takes place regularly through bi-annual book scrutinies and lesson observations undertaken by the subject leader. Feedback is given to relevant staff members in a timely and constructive fashion in order to continually improve the teaching of history at Merton Bank. Furthermore, pupil and staff voice are also taken into consideration via informal bi-annual interviews which enable the subject leader to gain further insight into the impact and quality of history teaching across school.

The subject leader must continually ensure that challenging, quality teaching and learning opportunities (in line with national curriculum requirements) are being provided in a historical context across school and in wider school life.

 

Impact:

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study, taken from the national curriculum. The use of formative assessment will inform the teacher’s planning and will identify any gaps in knowledge.

Through the teaching of the history curriculum, pupils at Merton Bank Primary School are enabled to:

  • Know and understand history as a chronological narrative, from the earliest times
  • Understand how people’s lives were shaped and how Britain was influenced by the wider world
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, understand how life changed through different periods of time and how new technologies affected everyday life.
  • Make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends
  • Frame historically valid questions to lead their own learning
  • Create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry

 

 

 

Our Big Question

Within each classroom at Merton Bank, we have a ‘Our Big Question’! Each unit of History has a specific point of discussion surrounding a question on our topic. The children have to vote as to whether they ‘agree’ (YES) ‘disagree’ (NO) or are ‘unsure’ (I DON’T KNOW) about the question up for discussion which fuels so much debate, enthusiasm and chatter about their learning!