At Villa Real School we have built our history curriculum to be inclusive and inspiring, with strong local roots and connections to the wider history of Britain and the world. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for History; providing a brood and balanced curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of historical concepts, knowledge and skills; and opportunity for pupils to study the great diversity of experiences of peoples in the past.
We aim for a high quality history curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Our teaching, adapted to meet the needs of all of our pupils, aims to equip pupils with a wide range of knowledge. This will include study of our rich local history; the history of Britain and how it has influenced and been influenced by the wider world; significant aspects of the history of the wider world including ancient civilisations and empires; changes in and beyond living memory and the lives of a wide range of significant people of the past. Our history curriculum plays an important part in our pupils developing critical thinking skills by involving them in historical enquiry and focusing on asking and answering questions about events in the past. The history curriculum contributes significantly to pupils developing an awareness of the diversity of human experience. We have planned our history curriculum to include the stories, contributions and voices of many different groups and inspiring individuals. We want all Villa Real’s pupils to enjoy and love learning about history both in the classroom and by using the historic environment via fieldwork and educational visits.
History is present in all our curriculum pathways in a form appropriate to the needs of pupils following that route. We aim for pupils in the same key stage to focus on the same area of history. Our teachers adapt the delivery of the history curriculum for the pupils in their groups. Our topic overview shows the areas of history we study in each key stage.
Pupils/students on Pathway 2 follow a sensory curriculum. They explore a range of historical topics via sensory activities, including meeting and handling artefacts, in provision bespoke to their individual needs.
Pupils/students on Pathway 3/4 study our History curriculum in a more formal provision exploring history using artefacts, written sources and undertaking their own historical research.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In EYFS we complete the Early Years Development Journal. This journal is linked to ‘Development Matters’ and the Early Years Statutory Framework where History is part of ‘Understanding the World’. At Villa Real History is explored in the area of ‘Thinking’. Pupils engage with activities to build foundations of historical skill and understanding.
Key Stages One and Two
History takes on more of a formal lesson structure when moving onto Key Stages One and Two. The principles and guidelines of the National Curriculum followed. History is taught on a weekly basis and our topics are planned so that over 4 years pupils encounter a wide variety of local, British and international history.
In Key Stage One pupils begin by exploring their own lives and the lives of familiar adults. They then begin to study significant people from the past followed by an area of local history.
In Key Stage Two pupils then enhance this knowledge further by building a wider chronological knowledge of Britain’s past, as well as studying the history of Ancient Civilisations. Pupils will also explore how history has shaped our local area.
Key Stage Three
In Key Stage 3 History is taught on a weekly basis and follows a well-planned programme of topics. The curriculum builds on the prior knowledge and skills developed in earlier key stages.
Students in the 14-19 provision study History on a weekly basis. The curriculum builds on the principles of the National Curriculum to meet the needs of all students.
Students follow a rolling programme of accreditation where appropriate. This includes ASDAN Short Course, ASDAN Towards Independence and NCFE Entry Level 3 Occupational studies.
History is taught as a discrete subject. Pupils work at their own pace at a suitable level. Main methods of delivery are kinaesthetic with visual and auditory prompts, to support learning and progression in a safe and controlled environment.
Within History lessons, students will be encouraged to develop their historical skills and understanding. All lessons are individualised and personalised to the students’ needs and abilities. All students have access to high quality resources to enhance their learning.
As many of our pupils find the concept of time and chronology challenging, pupils will revisit key language and concepts throughout their learning to strengthen recall and support memory. Chronology is taught in practical ways to ensure students develop a robust understanding and to make the concept as concrete as possible.
Use of artefacts and, where appropriate, visual representations of the past contribute significantly to our curriculum implementation. We give particular emphasis to the historic environment wherever possible and accessible primary sources.
Reflecting the school’s emphasis on diversity and equality, teaching resources in history pay a special attention to reflecting the different experiences of individuals in the past.
Formative assessment is in the form of quick quizzes, recalling knowledge and skills developed in previous lessons and displaying understanding of key vocabulary and concepts.
Progress of all students is monitored using B squared and judged on individual targets as part of our holistic REAL assessment method.
The History Coordinator speaks to pupils as regularly as possible to gather their experiences of the history curriculum across the school. The co-ordinator monitors teacher planning, participates in regular learning walks and work scrutiny, and moderates’ pupil work giving feedback to class teachers each term. The subject coordinator aims to meet with other history teachers across County Durham to look at work from pupils in different schools and moderate work together.