The importance of History
History matters for every child, parent, guardian and teacher because history is all about people. The study of people of different types from different times and different places is so important. We are the result of a shared past that gives us a sense of local, regional and national identity. History can help to heal the wounds inflicted by racism, nationalism, sectarianism and fundamentalism. History fires pupil’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. Firmly rooted in historical fact, history encourages creativity, empathy and imagination. In history, pupils find evidence, evaluate it and reach their own conclusions. To do this, they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are prized in adult life. History shapes us all.
At Lakeside Primary we seek to create a broad and balanced curriculum approach, where skills and knowledge are equally valued.
Learning intentions are skills with implicit knowledge that we want children to be able to learn. Knowledge is distinct, declarative knowledge, such as facts and information that support the learning intentions.
Knowledge and skills are intertwined. They are also mutually beneficial. Research indicates that children become more proficient learners when they develop metacognitive and cognitive strategies, such as being able to retrieve and connect their knowledge. Likewise, when children develop the skill of reading, they can access and build a wider knowledge base.
Therefore, a curriculum that values and finds a balance between both skills and knowledge is the goal. Prioritising one over the other can create significant gaps in children’s learning.
So, should education be about getting children to know more facts? Or should it be about encouraging them to try things out and solve problems? Knowledge or skills? The answer is ‘both’. Knowledge and skills both have a purpose and the best curricula aims to ensure the right balance between them. They are inseparable and ‘intimately linked’.
As such at Lakeside, we aim to have a curriculum that helps children to acquire the knowledge and skills that they need and then gives them opportunities to practice and apply them over time, in order to master them. For declarative knowledge, this includes regular retrieval and application, helping them to store and recall it from memory. For skills, it includes routinely practising and refining the skill. An outstanding curriculum is one that is designed with these opportunities and connections in place.
How History is taught at Lakeside in EYFS
Links with EYFS and History
The EYFS framework is organised across seven areas of learning rather than specific subject areas. The aim of this document is to help subject leaders to understand how the skills taught across EYFS feed into national curriculum subjects.
The most relevant early years outcomes for history are taken from the following areas of learning:
How History is taught at Lakeside in KS1 and KS2
History is taught across KS1 and KS2 using the Cornerstones curriculum which has four stages.
Children will progress through four distinct stages of learning in each project – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
The four stages seek to do the following: offer all children a memorable experience at the start of every topic which
excites, promotes and hooks children’s interest. During the projects, the children’s curiosity is stimulated through different tasks involving problem solving, creativity and communication which aim to develop new skills through a variety of interesting contexts as well as developing a rich and deep subject knowledge.
Children are encouraged to understand the purpose and value of their learning, make links and see its relevance to their past, present and future. Different aspects of history are studied across the Key Stages within a coherent and progressive framework which explores the breadth and depth of the national curriculum.