Our history curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum Program of Study.
Purpose of study
A high-quality history education will help 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 the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
(National Curriculum 2013)
History at Sycamore Academy
The teaching of history at Sycamore Academy intends to equip children with the knowledge of the chronology of the past, and the interconnectivity of this timeline. As historians, they will begin to think critically about the validity of sources, different points of view and how our interpretation of the past has evolved over time. History gives us an insight into the lives of others, how these have been influenced and changed and how this relates to their own lives.
We will furnish them with the historical skills to explore the past and create and answer their own questions. They will be able to compare different time periods and consider the cause and effect of past events, and how this steered key moments in the past. We want our children to understand how the past formed the current world, including the United Kingdom, and begin to apply these lessons to the future. Sycamore children will also have a good knowledge of local and personal history.
Each classroom will have age-appropriate timelines, with previous learning representing their historical journey through Sycamore Academy. This is referred to during current learning. There is also a display sheet with different areas of Historical interest, for example crime & punishment, and houses, and in each Historical topic these areas are discussed and compared to previous topics. We use artefacts and documents to help the children with their learning. The children have a growing respect of, and take care when handling these.
The children are encouraged to ask historical questions, research and fill in the gaps in their knowledge, and question the bias and accuracy of historical sources. We are aware of where the topic we are studying fits in to history – what came before and after, how the period began, why it ended, and what it’s legacy on the modern world is.
At Sycamore Academy children will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the sequence of historical events and the impact of these events on times that came later. How each part of our history, both personally and in the wider world, has an impact in the future. We want our children to develop skills and knowledge that will prepare them to become competent historians in secondary education, but, we hope, will also equip them to understand how the people of the world have developed and changed. We want our children to be inspired to look at real world applications for jobs involving history, including tour guides, archivists, archaeologists, palaeontologists, news reports and political commentators.