At St Bonaventure’s, we want our children to become active historians and develop an understanding and appreciation of the past. We want our historians to be critical, curious learners and engaged in stimulating, enquiry-based lessons within a cross-curricular approach. During lessons, children investigate and interpret the past in a variety of ways, use a range of sources of evidence and question its reliability and significance.
As children progress up through the school, they develop and build on prior knowledge through learning about a range of historical periods, significant people and events. This allows them to become reflective learners and make links within and across the historical periods studied. We want our children to develop an awareness of how the past has contributed to the present and might influence the future.
At St Bonaventure’s, our historians develop and build on their understanding of historical concepts and skills, outlined in a progressive framework. These cover Historical Terms, which builds up their vocabulary; Chronological Understanding, Change and Continuity, Cause and Consequence, Interpretations of History and Historical Enquiry and Communication. Our Historians have the opportunity to view events from different perspectives, encouraging empathy and a greater understanding of how the past affected different members of society in different ways. These skills are transferable across all aspects of their education.
At St Bonaventure’s, we plant the seed of curiosity, inspiring their love of History beyond the school.
At St Bonaventure’s, History is taught as exciting termly topics, focusing on the knowledge and skills outlined in the National Curriculum and linked to whole school themes. To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in History, we implement a curriculum that is set out in a whole school progression map. These are linked to year group medium term plans and ensures consistency across the school.
All learning in History begins by revisiting prior knowledge which recalls previous learning and supports children to make links. Our whole school personalised time line is used within History lessons by all staff, to enable children to visually make links between historical periods and formulate questions. A priority at St Bonaventure’s, is making links with Bristol and the local school community wherever possible, in order to make learning relevant and meaningful.
For each History topic, a broad enquiry question is asked at the start of each topic to guide the pupils through their learning. To answer the overarching question, each lesson begins with a more specific enquiry focus, where children are actively involved in investigating the available evidence, in order to discover the answer. Children are also encouraged to carry out their own research at home and enquire about relevant family sources of evidence. Their learning is then communicated in a variety of ways, including writing, artwork, models, drama and re-enactment, debate or presentation of findings to support their Oracy skills. Appropriate differentiation and support are incorporated to ensure access for all children.
At the end of the topic, children discuss their conclusions, using the knowledge they have built on in each lesson.
In the Foundation Stage, children’s ongoing learning about History is through the Knowledge and Understanding of the World area of the Early Learning Goals, incorporating these into whole school themes. In addition to this, in the summer term, Reception pupils engage in enquiry questions which is an introduction to History concepts and skills prior to their KS1 learning.
History Curriculum weeks are planned and implemented to give the children a richer experience of the topic across the curriculum, including English, Maths, Science, Geography, D.T, Art, Computing and Citizenship. Children have the opportunity to participate in exciting workshops and trips to significant local sites as well as being engaged with visitors and hear eye-witness accounts.
History learning in each year group is celebrated in assemblies, on the whole school timeline and with stimulating classroom displays.
By the end of KS2, children at St Bonaventure’s will leave with a breadth of knowledge and skills which they will take with them to build on as they continue the next step of their education.
To identify the impact of History, regular monitoring is carried out by the History Lead each term, using a variety of methods, including book looks which showcase a range of topics covered with cross-curricular links, exciting tasks which facilitate the learning of knowledge and skills and different examples of communicating knowledge. Examples of work are collected to form a portfolio of work across the school. Conferencing of children gives evidence of the children’s learning, links that they can identify with previous learning and their enthusiasm for the topics. Learning walks reveal a history rich environment, with photographs of trips and creative displays celebrating the subject and raising its profile across all year groups and with visitors to the school. In essence, there is a ‘buzz’ about the subject.
As Historians from St Bonaventure’s, our children will learn lessons from the contributions made by people, events and developments in history that will impact their decisions in the future.