At Town Field Primary School, we aim to inspire our children to become curious and ambitious historians; equipped with skills that enable them to develop coherent knowledge and understanding of British and World History, and eager to learn more.
Our carefully-mapped curriculum focusses on a need to build powerful knowledge over time through regular retrieval and rehearsal of key historical concepts, within the context of new and rich knowledge. We hope that this approach will enable our children to retain key information in their long term memory, which they draw upon to create an all-important ‘big picture’ of history.
As historians, we encourage children to approach new information with increasing expertise and critique, whereby well-balanced judgements are formed in answer to historical enquiry. Vertical enactment of key concepts throughout school promotes children’s ability to identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods, as well as clear narratives within and across periods studied and how these may have shaped their own lives. Challenge is present in ambitious lines of enquiry, which deepen learning and allow children to move swiftly on in response to individual need.
Use of knowledge organisers for each topic ensures clarity of learning outcomes, which contribute to children’s knowledge of people and events within a chronological framework, as well as important (often abstract) historical terms. These are shared regularly with children, as well as families, in order that children become fluent in their ability to recall and make sense of key information, both in school and in the wider community.
Our robust pedagogy places value on quality lived, daily learning experiences for all children, which had until recently been enhanced by educational visits, visitors in school and use of quality, primary sources loaned from museum services. In light of current circumstances, teachers make use of virtual visits from experts and online workshops, as well as exposure to high quality and meaningful sources that maximise opportunities for cultural capital. In addition, alternate year groups embark upon studies linked to our local area, which encourage children to forge meaningful connections between their own heritage and people or events of the past, thus bringing forward the relevance of each learning experience.
Strong emphasis is placed upon the quality of texts used when investigating lines of historical enquiry, in order that children appreciate the importance of fluency and comprehension when reading as a tool to deepen their knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, where writing is used as a vehicle to communicate learning outcomes, high standards of written English and presentation are expected, and addressed accordingly in written feedback.
Continuing professional development amongst staff is vital in ensuring the intentions outlined above are achieved. As such, needs are ascertained through timely monitoring and evaluation processes and acted upon as appropriate.