History has a prominent role within Sandwich Junior School and, far from being taught simply as a ‘stand alone’ subject, it is shown across the wider Curriculum. Elements of historical skills are used within many other subjects, whilst the methods of expressing opinions and communicating historical observations are also taught within the English Curriculum. In a similar manner, the ability to use evidence within History has a direct link to the teaching of comprehension inference skills within Reading. In turn, History itself contains many aspects of other subjects including RE, Geography, Art and Music - this contributes to the diverse, broad and rich Curriculum which Sandwich Junior School offers its pupils.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
The aim of History education in our school is to enable children to gain an insight into the past both on a worldwide scale and also in relation to how the British Isles have been influenced and developed through a variety of historical periods and by settlers through the ages. Children will cover a wide variety of periods and, following the National Curriculum, will develop skills:
- Chronology – An appreciation of how different civilisations have developed and how events happen simultaneously in different places.
- Comparison and Contrast – An understanding of differences and similarities between different civilisations and different periods of time.
- Causality – How events have had both short term and long term impact on life in both the British Isles and in the wider world.
- Recording of History – An understanding of how we know about the past and the value and reliability of different sources of information.
- Asking and answering questions – How an understanding of History can both raise and answer ‘big’ questions by using and evaluating information sources.
The school’s History Curriculum will also reflect and enhance the consistent approach to exhibiting the school’s ethos of ‘As a team we soar, strive and play.’ and the Core Values of the Eagle (aspiration and success); the Wolf (teamwork); the Salmon (resilience and perseverance) and the Dolphin (having fun whilst learning). As stated in the opening paragraph, History is not viewed just as an isolated subject within the Curriculum but rather as an element of the rich, broad Curriculum which the school offers.
BRITISH HISTORY WEEK
History is given its own themed week at the end of Term 1 in order to widen the focus into modern society and allow the children to explore this area of modern History. Year 3 study the 1950s with a focus on the Rock and Roll era; Year 4 study the 1970s; Year 5 study the 1980s and Year 6 study the 1960s with a focus on the changing youth culture. This gives children the opportunity to focus heavily upon a variety of aspects of these periods whilst also looking at what life was like for a child during these eras. This allows the History strand of ‘Comparison and Contrast’ to be met with a far more relevant comparative period to the children’s own lives, whilst also broadening the school’s History offer to promote enjoyment by our wider community of parents, carers, grandparents etc who can play a part in supporting children with knowledge of their own experiences. The focus, as the title of this week suggests, is on British society and British music.
Children in all Year Groups will be taught how to chronologically sequence events in history through a progressive development of associated vocabulary (years, decades, centuries, millennia, BC, AD etc. They will also develop the skills of placing events into a framework to show chronological advancement through a progressive use of images, crucial events and timeline frames until a point where they are able to select and prioritise events whilst also demonstrating that several ideas and events may be taking place simultaneously and creating their own timelines. There is also a whole school focus on showing and developing dynamic timelines which the children can add to as their learning progresses both within and across years.
Year 4 Timeline Year 5 Timeline
Year 6 Timelines
DEVELOPMENT OF VOCABULARY
Pupils will develop a common framework of language during their learning journey in History with emphasis placed upon the understanding and common reference to terms including Empire, Civilisation, Peasantry and Hierarchy, Democracy and the rule of law, Parliament. These terms are taught and used wherever they link to the topic covered by the various year groups.
During the course of their study, children will learn how to find elements of societies which are both different and similar to those of previous periods they have studied. They will also learn how to record these findings through a variety of techniques developing from simple ideas supported by images and annotations to the compilation of chronological reports. They will learn how to show an increasing awareness of ‘Cause and Consequence’ across time periods which have a lasting impact upon how society functions and why some civilisations became dominant over others.
In order to enable structure to be developed in assessing and recording these similarities and differences, an emphasis will be placed upon looking at housing and architectural changes and styles across the ages along with day to day life for different groups of people (including jobs and pastimes).
During British History Week, an emphasis will be placed upon the children comparing periods within recent British History to their own experiences.
DEVELOPING SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Across the whole spectrum of the children’s History journey they will be taught how the past has been explored and how a wide range of sources (artefacts, paintings, letters, texts etc) have contributed to our understanding of the past. They will develop their skills across the Key Stage from simply identifying supporting evidence for statements to actually evaluating the reliability of both primary and secondary evidence sources. Children will learn how to present their own opinions when given a question to respond to by utilising evidence to support their findings and decisions.
HISTORY EDUCATION WITHIN THE WIDER CURRICULUM
Sandwich Junior School is fully committed to providing its pupils with as broad and balanced a curriculum as possible.
With this in mind, it should be noted that the above themes and content are also supplemented by a wide range of opportunities to explore topical and relevant subjects through a variety of different means, both within discrete History teaching and also as an element of other subjects:
Relevant historical events and anniversaries which may not fall strictly within the actual History Curriculum topics are given a special place within the delivery of the Curriculum at Sandwich Junior School, for example Armistice Day plays a regular role within our calendar – children are given a thorough understanding of the reasoning behind and importance of this day and why these events shaped our society. Similarly, other celebrations such as D-Day and VE day are also covered fully and discussed with the children. These are also supported by linking other elements of the Curriculum such as Guided Reading to further develop understanding of these events.
A wide range of progressive whole school texts within English are designed to explore a range of historical topics and also the wider heritage of the British Isles along with development of a multi- cultural appreciation to modern society. Thus, when teaching subjects such as RE and Geography, historical skills of change and consequence are also taught alongside the subject specific skills.
We try to use the history on our own doorstep within the Curriculum at Sandwich Junior School. With this in mind, our teaching takes advantage of the fact that the town was one of the original Cinque Ports (this fact is developed and made relevant during Year 5 work with the Sandwich History Society). The impact of World War 2 upon the surrounding areas and the coining of the phrases ‘Doodlebug Alley’ and ‘Hellfire Corner’ are also developed during the work in Year 6, along with a focused visit to Dover castle and the Wartime Tunnels. Other links with local groups and venues such as The Sandwich History Society and the Guildhall Museum have been fostered and expert knowledge within these groups contribute to the education of our children when developing their historical knowledge on a local basis. Similarly, visits to local historical sites such as Richborough Castle and Canterbury Cathedral are utilised to give the children hands-on experiential opportunities.