At Woodvale our History curriculum aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers
who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world.
We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions, and be able to explain and
analyse historical evidence.
Through our units of work, we aim to build an awareness of significant events and individuals in
global, British and local history and recognise how things have changed over time. History will
support children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the
relationships between different groups. Studying History allows children to appreciate the many
reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for
others while providing an opportunity to learn from mankind’s past mistakes. We aim to support pupils in building their understanding of chronology in each year group, making connections over periods of time and developing a chronologically-secure knowledge of History.
We hope to develop pupils’ understanding of how historians study the past and construct accounts
and the skills to carry out their own historical enquiries.
In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, our curriculum plans aim to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation,religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.
Our units of work enable pupils to meet the end of Key stage attainment targets in the National curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National curriculum. For EYFS, the activities allow pupils to work towards the Understanding the world Development matters statements and Early learning goals, while also covering foundational knowledge that will support them in their further history learning in Key Stage 1.
In order to meet the aims of the National curriculum for History and in response to the Ofsted
Research review into History, we have identified the following key strands:
Our History curriculum emphasises the importance of historical knowledge being shaped by
disciplinary approaches, as shown in the diagram above. These strands are interwoven through all our
History units of learning to create engaging and enriching learning experiences which allow the children to investigate history as historians do.
Each unit of learning has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the
period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world. In EYFS, children explore
the concept of history by reflecting on key experiences from their own past, helping them understand
that they each have their own histories. Then, they engage in activities to compare and contrast
characters from stories, including historical figures, deepening their understanding of how individual
lives fit into broader historical narratives. Children will further develop their awareness of the past in
Key stage 1 and will know where people and events fit chronologically. This will support children in
building a ‘mental timeline’ they can refer to throughout their learning in Key stage 2 and identifying
connections, contrasts and trends over time.
Over the course of the curriculum, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
• Change and continuity.
• Cause and consequence.
• Similarities and differences.
• Historical significance.
• Historical interpretations.
• Sources of evidence.
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world
history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to
analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical
skill set. As children progress through the Woodvale History curriculum, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.
Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion and settlement, are introduced in Key Stage 1,
clearly identified in Lower Key Stage 2 and revisited in Upper Key Stage 2 (see WPA Progression of Knowledge document below) allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in History.
Our History curriculum follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are
returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and
understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical
contexts and periods. These are identified by the History subject leader and then shared with staff through the cover sheet for each unit of learning (see documents below)
Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the
different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities
involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of
Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of
concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly-effective and robust history
curriculum. Each unit of lessons focuses on the key subject knowledge needed to deliver the
curriculum, making links with prior learning and identifying possible misconceptions. These are detailed on the cover sheet for each unit of work so that teachers are in the position to deliver high quality lessons and effective teaching.
The impact of our History curriculum can be constantly monitored through both formative and
summative assessment opportunities. As part of our lesson structure at Woodvale, the key question will be revisited at the end of the lessons and teachers have opportunities for formative assessment throughout the lesson. As part of the lesson sequence, subject leaders have planned assessment tasks at the end of the unit to provide a summative assessment.
Our pupils should leave Woodvale equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education. They will be enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question. They will be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.
The expected impact of our History curriculum is that children will:
● Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and
how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
● Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations,
empires, non-European societies and the achievements of mankind.