Welcome to History
Introduction to History
At Bramhope Primary School, we believe that a high-quality history education helps 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 people’s lives in the past and enable them to be viewed within the context of the time. Our curriculum is supported by resources from the Leeds Curriculum (Leeds Museums and Galleries) to help reveal the bigger picture of our nation’s history through local stories. This increases the relevance to our pupils and enables them to see history as ‘real people’. In October 2021, we were awarded the Historical Association Quality Mark for the first time, achieving Gold in all areas.
High quality history teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. The teaching of history helps our pupils understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change over time, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
What makes History different at Bramhope?
History at Bramhope reflects our whole school vision and school motto – Belong, Be Your Best, Be Bramhope – in the following ways:
Delivering a diverse history curriculum through which many stories are represented. We also talk about whose stories are missing, and why.
Enabling children to understand our local history and how the story of our local area reveals aspects of the national picture of history.
Helping children learn about the global community by exploring ancient civilizations and the impact their achievements have on their lives.
Be Your Best:
Having high expectations of academic achievement in history.
Being resilient and independent through critical thinking and conducting historical enquiries.
Our pupils learn about significant local people, places and events to help them see the relevance of history to their lives.
We have developed our own units of learning supported with quality resources from the Leeds Curriculum (Leeds Museums and Galleries).
Within the classroom our curriculum is broad, and we want to inspire children to begin to think and act as historians. Our curriculum is designed so that units taught in KS1 provide a foundation for what will be taught in KS2. Our KS2 curriculum is designed to complement, rather than repeat, what will be taught in KS3.
Outside the classroom, we want to teach children to become good citizens. Our history curriculum helps provide our children with essential cultural capital gained through enrichment opportunities external visits and visitors.
What are lessons like?
History is taught at Bramhope as a discrete subject so that pupils have a clear idea about the disciplinary concepts specific to the subject. In addition to this, each lesson is knowledge rich seeking to teach the children the key content they need to know and remember.
Each unit of learning has an over-arching enquiry question which children should be able to answer at the end. Examples of our enquiry questions are: Were Grandad’s toys better than mine? How did the first flight change the world? What happened when the Romans came to Britain? Smaller enquiry questions are planned within the unit of learning which may span more than one lesson.
Teachers are aware of prior and subsequent learning and lessons are created around this. Retrieval practice forms an important start to lessons with the aim of supporting the retention of key knowledge and developing understanding. Lessons are planned as a sequence of learning which all link together.
All lessons begin with a chronological overview to enable children to see where prior learning fits into the bigger picture. Timelines appropriate to the children’s numerical understanding are used by all teachers in the classroom, so children understand scale, duration and concurrence as they move through the key stages.
History lessons at Bramhope support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. Spiritual - considering the spiritual beliefs of different societies in the past. Moral - studying history lends itself to debates and a consideration of different points of view such as the return of the Benin bronzes or Elgin marbles. Social – children will study how past societies have contributed to our society today. Their own social development is encouraged through paired and group work often involving drama and creative solutions. Cultural - Children are encouraged to gain an understanding of and empathise with people from different backgrounds. They develop a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, and World History. Children will look at the impact of diverse cultures on the world in which we live.
History is enriched through visitors to school who might deliver workshops or share experiences. We also aim to provide educational visits which add to the learning experiences of our children.
What do we mean by progress?
We believe in providing a knowledge-rich history curriculum that provides opportunities for children to remember and develop key subject knowledge as they journey through primary school. Threads are built into our curriculum which allow for concepts to be revisited more than once. Threads in our curriculum include Trade, Childhood, Monarchy and Transport and these are covered from EYFS through to Year 6.
Chronological understanding builds from EYFS where children talk about now, then, past, future. In KS1, children understand the terms Beyond Living Memory and Within Living Memory, decade and century. By the end of KS2, children understand the concepts of eras, periods of time, scale, duration and concurrence.
The enquiry questions are designed to keep the curriculum focused for example when studying World War II, we study the experiences of children so we can concentrate on developing a depth of knowledge rather than providing a broad overview of the war.
Studying units in more depth will mean children are able to grasp historical concepts such as change and continuity, similarity and difference, and cause and consequence and therefore make progress in the disciplinary aspects of history.
What do we mean by assessment?
History is assessed using formative assessment by the class teachers. Key knowledge which needs to be remembered is tested through regular opportunities for retrieval practice. Teachers are skilled questioners within the classroom and can identify the more able historians who can be further challenged in discussions and by providing challenge activities in lessons. Children are encouraged to show progress by making increasing links to previous learning.
At the end of a unit, assessment tasks can be used to showcase the children’s knowledge and understanding. Tasks can take the form of mind maps, double page spreads or creative tasks such as making posters of a Victorian seaside resort or creating a dramatic scene.
Class teachers may decide to use a quiz to test knowledge and understanding at the end of a unit. The curriculum is designed so that there are opportunities for concepts to be revisited more than once and skills to be continuously developed. This means there is no need to hold interventions to close gaps in historical knowledge.