History Curriculum Statement
Enquiry is at the heart of historical study. All children are naturally curious and at Willow Brook school, this curiosity is one of our fundamental principles. History is a powerful subject, able to unite or divide people and to shape the way in which the world is seen. A good quality history education equips children with a framework of historical knowledge, underpinned by a robust sense of chronology. These facts are a vital foundation upon which the skills of analysis and interpretation are built. When presented with source material, children who ask valid historical questions and seek informed answers will have a better understanding of past and how it shapes the present and future. We also know that children also form their own sense of self based upon the world that they see around them. By embedding a framework of historical knowledge, underpinned by a robust sense of chronology, we can help children come to an understanding of their own sense of identity.
Through our whole school topics and our class history studies, children are fully immersed in the lives and times of those who have gone before us. History is a school wide focus in every classroom during the autumn term. Our youngest children focus on memorable recent history, using the accounts of older people and newspaper articles as their sources. Once in KS2, the children begin to learn British history in a sequential manner, starting with the Stone Age and ending with the process of the Industrial Revolution. Children are taught key historical vocabulary, significant dates and about the lives of significant individuals. Through referring to past learning, our teachers help children to come to understand historical themes and how they flow through the history of the British Isles. Our curriculum enables children to have a confident knowledge of the chronology of history and are introduced to historical sources that demand increasing complex skills for interpretation. Where younger children learn about Stone Age living conditions by investigating the site of Skara Brae, our older children learn how the subtleties of the artist’s paintbrush reveals details about contemporary attitudes towards industrialisation. Our children are taught how to ask perceptive questions to broaden and deepen their understanding.
History teaching in Willow Brook looks beyond the British Isles. With whole school topics carefully planned to take advantage of significant historical anniversaries and international events, children learn about the earliest ancient civilisations, contrasting non-European societies and the achievements of the Ancient Greeks.
Our history curriculum is interwoven with other subjects. This link is particularly strong with English where children relate to characters from historical settings and in following stories, come to gain a greater understanding of what life was like in the past. History teaching is also linked closely with our geography curriculum and local history studies.
Our history curriculum is enriched through memorable experiences. We invite members of the community into the classroom to share artefacts, first-hand experience and expertise on different aspects of history. Beyond the classroom, children visit historical sites in the local community and further afield.
Children leave Willow Brook school with a sound understanding of British history alongside knowledge of where this fits into a worldwide context. Children have interacted with historical sources and asked valid historical questions. Classrooms, assemblies and children’s work reflect Willow Brook’s commitment to high quality history education. Children leave Willow Brook with a range of memorable experiences which have shaped their understanding of how life looked. They have sufficient knowledge of chronology that serves as a foundation upon which to build further knowledge in KS3, further study and for the rest of their lives. Our children have been taught to make sense of the striking similarities and vast differences in human experiences across time and place. Their grounding in history has helped to form their sense of identity and helps them to make sense of the world as community driven members of society.