“Developing our children’s enthusiasm and curiosity about the past, whilst exploring the impact it has had on shaping their present.”
History has always played a key role at Seaton Primary, being used cross-circularly to enrich the children’s learning. Our History curriculum aims to develop children’s enthusiasm and curiosity about the past, whilst exploring the impact it has had on shaping the present. We deliver a broad and enriching sequence of lessons centred on key questions which develop content knowledge through enquiry based activities. As children progress through the school, they will be able to confidently discuss the concept of chronology and use a range of skills to examine past events. By the end of KS2, children will be able to explore overarching themes by analysing a range of historical sources. Whenever possible, our history curriculum draws from and makes full use of the immediate and wider local area, helping children to develop a deep understanding of the rich history of their locality.
Curriculum structure & schemes:
We follow the Keystage History schemes of work and resources across the school. This ensures we have content coverage, skills progression and engaging activities that have a clear History outcome. In EYFS, we develop their understanding of their own life story and start to make sense of past and present through storytelling and class events. In KS1, we build on their knowledge of past/present becoming familiar with chronology and historical terminology. In addition, children look at famous events and figures, exploring changes and making comparisons. History topics are integrated across subjects to engage and excite the children, for example, when studying Scott of the Artic, in English children also produce a fact file about penguins using the model text Hot and cold.
In KS2, History is taught more explicitly. In lower KS2 we focus on building their chronological understanding by exploring aspects of history chronologically; moving from the Stone Age to Vikings and Saxons. By upper KS2, with a broader knowledge base and understanding of chronology, we focus on deepening their enquiry skills in readiness for KS3. Topics focus on more mature themes, such as WW2 and Ancient Greece, as well as thematic enquiries over an extending period of time, such as 1000 years of crime and punishment.
Underpinning every history lesson is a key question. By starting with a key question, teachers plan the activity focussing on historical skills as well as content knowledge. To ensure the progression of skills across the school, we revisit key skills periodically, e.g. ‘Make connections, draw contrasts and analyse trends’ is explored when studying Ancient Egypt in Year 3 and Ancient Greece in Year 5.
Topic themed days & trips:
As previously mentioned, we pride ourselves on taking advantage of our locality. Therefore, teachers build in opportunities to undertake visits to local areas with historical merit, for example visiting the Seaton Down Hoard exhibit at Exeter’s RAM or Escot’s replica Saxon Village. In addition, each year group has topic themed days, immersing the children in activities that excite them e.g. WW2 Spy Watch day or creating and burning a replica of London during the Great Fire. These memorable events help to embed children’s curiosity about history, whilst also solidifying knowledge retention as they move through the school.