Curriculum
History

Intent

The intent of the History curriculum at St Luke’s C of E School is to enable students to grow into young people who are informed, inquisitive and inspired to make a difference to the world around them.   Our curriculum is underpinned by the research that has informed our whole-school curriculum design, but in addition our teaching is influenced by the research of Christine Counsell on concepts such as the development of knowledge, sequencing and significance, as well as various articles in Teaching History, published by the Historical Association; the work of Barak Rosenshine and ‘Teach Like a Champion’ by Doug Lemov.

Our curriculum enables our students to live life to the full by:

  • Developing an investigative character: this includes being able to form enquiries, make use of evidence, analyse sources and recognise why different opinions exist, not taking statements at face value but taking responsibility to search for the truth.
  • Being inspired by people and events in the past to take responsibility through standing up against injustice, protest about issues they care about, participate in democratic processes and movements and in doing so give hope to others.
  • Understanding, accepting and showing respect to people and cultures who are different to themselves, and in doing so being inclusive people.
  • Understanding why people have different opinions to themselves. Engaging in respectful dialogue and debate with others, so that others feel included and to understand there is often a need to compromise.
  • Developing an ability to articulate ideas confidently and clearly, support statements with evidence and make links and connections and form a persuasive argument.
  • Developing strong literacy skills so that they can achieve their best now and in the future.
  • Understanding and being able to explain why significant events happened, and how today’s world is shaped by past events.
  • Using knowledge about the past to articulate informed opinions about current events and issues, and make wise and responsible decisions in the future.
  • Growing in humility due to an awareness that nobody’s influence lasts forever and an understanding of our ‘smallness’ in the scale of history. Such an attitude results in respect for others and the planet. At the same time, growing in appreciation of and respecting the value of all human life and our potential to do good, which gives great hope.
  • Engaging with big questions that exist for humans.
  • Gaining knowledge, skills and qualifications that open opportunities in their future and enable students to achieve their best. This includes working hard and being able to organise their work and time.

We meet the needs of all students, including those with SEND and those who are disadvantaged by:

  • Improving all students’ sense of chronology through the use of timelines. All students have a timeline with key dates in the back of their exercise book.
  • Using writing frames and sentence starters to support students to develop academic writing skills.
  • Focusing on oracy, in particular through turn and talk and sentence starters, in order to develop students’ literacy.
  • Ensuring design of slides avoids cognitive overload.
  • Regular modelling of quality work, in particular high quality, academic writing.
  • Analysing academic writing, for example through the use of visualisers
  • Ensuring that the past is looked at from a variety of perspectives and considers the experiences of different genders, classes, races and sexualities.
  • Regularly referencing tier 2 vocabulary and grammatical features, in particular conjunctive adverbials (ensuring students ask themselves ‘so what?’ when explaining).
  • Chunking task instructions and checking understanding.
  • Regularly reviewing sets and groupings.
  • Using dual coding and images to engage students and help them retain information.
  • Framing communication positively and proactively encouraging students through praise, communication with parents and support to build confidence.
Implementation

History teachers at St Luke’s are passionate about the past and provoke curiosity and a desire to investigate events and people. Key Stage 2 focuses on pre-1066 and so we build on this by beginning with a topic that most students have some prior knowledge of (The Romans) and then build on their prior knowledge by focusing on British and then wold history post-1066. We also continue to refer to elements of local History and set these in chronological context, building upon references that have often been made at Key Stage1 and  2.

The intent of our curriculum is implemented through effective use of the St Luke’s Learning Structure, including:

  • A strong focus on literacy, for example through reference to tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, reading as a whole class and modelling when answering various types of exam questions.
  • Students regularly completing pieces of extended writing.
  • Teachers giving timely and effective feedback, which enables students to make improvements.
  • Teachers referring to current news or use engaging stories in order to provoke interest in the core curriculum. They refer to big questions and themes in order to encourage students to think about the big picture and encourage spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • Topics already covered in class continue being included in knowledge organiser homework tasks, in order to build long-term memory and refresh important information.
  • A knowledge test every week which is based on the previous week’s homework. Teachers collect scores to emphasise the importance of learning information.
  • An assessment at the end of each cycle. In yr 7-8 this is in the form of a short-answer knowledge test and an essay question. In Years 9-11 this is in the form of a section of or a full past exam paper.

Our curriculum is supported and enriched by the opportunity to take part activities and events marking occasions such as Holocaust Memorial Week and Remembrance Day.

Impact

We are proud that St Luke’s students make positive progress in this subject with the percentage of students who achieve 9-4 being above national average.  Our students can articulate the reason that they study History and students enjoy learning this subject.  Students have an overview of the past 1000 years of British history and elements of world History. They demonstrate knowledge of key topics they have studied (evidenced, for example, through knowledge tests) and understand how modern Britain has been shaped by the wider world. Students demonstrate respect for others and a desire to be inclusive alongside a willingness to listen to others’ opinions.  A number of students go on to study History at A Level and participate in democratic processes, in particular voting in elections.

St Luke’s is a wonderful place; is a school full of staff who are dedicated to improving the life chances of every student that attends the school.

Kealey Sherwood, Headteacher