At Shakespeare Infant School, our broad and balanced curriculum enables pupils to become curious, creative and independent individuals. Through our integrated approach, all pupils are able to access rich and engaging learning opportunities. Our projects are informed by the National Curriculum, enabling us to plan and sequence a high quality History curriculum we can deliver to every child at Shakespeare Infant School. The curriculum focuses on four main areas:
Where History is a lead subject, our projects are enhanced by exciting hooks, visits, class exhibitions and performances which enthuse and encourage the children’s learning and bring history to life. Children are taught to think critically and to ask and answer questions. This helps them to understand the complexity of people's lives and how historical events have shaped our world.
The key skills children need to become historians are further embedded through our carefully planned Learning Values. Our History curriculum encourages children to collaborate like Horis Hedgehog, and to be independent, curious thinkers like Billy Blackbird and Bertie Bee. Children are also given opportunities to be creative like Chrissie Caterpillar. The development of these skills in History help children achieve the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed as educated citizens.
Key knowledge and subject specific language is taught alongside these necessary skills to allow children to become passionate, inquisitive historians. Teaching and learning is carefully designed, adapted, reviewed and enhanced to ensure every child succeeds and achieves.
In Year 1 our work looks like this:
In Year 2 our work looks like this:
At Shakespeare Infant School, History is taught through our integrated curriculum, enabling all children to develop the key skills and knowledge they need to become curious and inquisitive historians. The History subject leader and the year group teachers work together to ensure progression of key skills in line with the Key Stage 1 Curriculum.
History is carefully planned into our projects as either a lead subject, an applied subject or a more broadly associated subject. Each project begins with an exciting hook to draw the children into the learning. In History, these hooks could include the use of artefacts linked to the project, school trips, drama workshops and knowledgeable visitors who bring History to life. For example, the Year 1 project ‘Titanic Tragedy’ begins with a visit from Jane Glennie as ‘Violet Jessop’, a stewardess who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
Once they are hooked onto the project, children immerse themselves in the project and are able to deepen their understanding of the four main areas of the History National Curriculum. We plan lessons that are interesting and accessible for all children and there are plenty of opportunities for cross-curricular learning. Strong links between history and literacy lessons are identified, planned for and utilised by teachers. In order to bring the past to life and help children understand how things have changed, we provide opportunities for children to observe and discuss a range of sources such as photographs, diary entries and artefacts. Children are encouraged to ask questions about the world around them and discuss their independent thoughts and ideas. In the Early Years, this begins as an opportunity for children to think about themselves and how they have changed since they were a baby.
Where possible, children’s history learning is enhanced by school visits. For example, the Year 2 children visit the HMS Victory as part of the ‘Set the Sails’ project. Visits and visitors remind children that they are learning about a period of significance in our country and world’s history. Our projects end with an outcome that enables children to showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired.
There are also opportunities during our ‘We Care time’ for history learning to be further embedded into our curriculum. Each week, children in every year group are given the opportunity to discuss and think critically about a relevant focus for the week for example, Remembrance Day and why we remember the soldiers who kept our country safe. ‘We Care time’ allows children to discuss and respond to historical events and news in this country and all around the world, promoting the development of our British Values.