History Learning Journey
Westgate Primary School -History Policy
Aims and Objectives
The aim of history teaching at Westgate Primary School is to enable pupils to:
- Be stimulated, interested, curious about the past.
- Gain a knowledge and understanding of significant events in Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
- Develop a sense of chronology.
- Understand how the British system of democratic government has developed and that Britain is part of a wider European culture. They will develop a knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world, including ancient civilisations empires and past non-European societies.
- Understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage.
- Ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement in order to develop the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.
- Create their own structured accounts, including narratives and analysis and use historical vocabulary.
History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary and secondary sources. In each Key Stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognise and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as “how do we know?”, about information they are given. We recognise the fact that in all classes there are children of widely-different abilities in history and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child regardless of their starting point. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in history. Cross-curricular approaches are used wherever possible in order to maximise opportunities to develop English, Maths, Science and foundation subject skills.
The History curriculum at Westgate follows the National Curriculum 2014. It is taught through both discrete lessons and cross-curricular topic work (See History Curriculum Map Overview and History Long Term Plan). This enables pupils to become immersed in their learning and make links across subjects, transferring their skills and knowledge. We take advantage of our significant local history – Warwick Castle, Fire of Warwick, History of our own Victorian School and to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Shakespeare.
History is taught in Reception as an integral part of the topic work through child-initiated and adult-led activities. The children are given the opportunity to find out about past and present events in their own lives, and those of their families and other people they know. History makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as exploring historical artefacts, looking at and discussing pictures of famous people in history or discovering the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives. Historical vocabulary is also introduced and developed to enable children to discuss their ideas fully.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1, pupils learn about people’s lives and lifestyles. They find out about significant men, women, children and events from the recent and more distant past in Britain and the wider world. They listen, and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present.
Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways. In Key Stage 2, we have adopted a chronological approach to our British and world history topics. For example, our study of British history will adopt the following pattern: Year 3 – Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; Year 4 - The Roman Empire and its Impact on Britain; Year 5 – Britain’s settlement by Anglo Saxons and Year 6 - The Vikings.
Resources (including visits)
There are high-quality resources for all history teaching units in the school which are kept in a central store. We buy into the county library service to provide topic books to supplement our growing stock of resources. We also use the internet as a research resource. Visits are also made locally to Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Caste, the Gaydon Motor Museum and to Warwick itself to study the Great Fire.
Inclusion and Equal Opportunities
Our school policies reflect Westgate Primary School’s commitment to provide a broad and balanced, inclusive, creative and exciting curriculum, based around high quality teaching and learning. We provide learning opportunities matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties taking into account the targets set for individual educational plans (IEP). Teachers take account of the three principles of inclusion that are set out in the National Curriculum: setting suitable learning challenges; responding to the diverse learning needs of pupils and overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils. It is the responsibility of all teachers to ensure that children irrespective of ability, race, gender, age, faith, sexual orientation, and disability are given full access to the history curriculum and make the greatest possible progress in accordance with recent legislation.
Assessing, Recording and Monitoring
Assessment of history throughout the school is based on teacher judgment, using a range of evidence. Progress is measured against performance indicators on the tracker assessment sheets which will allow for monitoring of progress within and across year groups. The subject leader works alongside the SLT team to monitor standards of teaching and learning. Subject leaders carry out a range of monitoring activities as detailed in the Teaching and Learning Policy. Curricular development is linked to the LIP and performance management cycle and subject leaders will report to the Governing Body Performance and Standards Committee as part of the curricular review and development process. Attainment and progress information is shared during the termly parent consultations and in the end of year report.
All resources are checked for signs of damaged and replaced as needed. All trips are risk assessed.
Date ratified by Performance and Standards Committee: June 2020
Next review date: June 2023 (every 3 years)
History Policy to Download
History Overview Curriculum Map
History Long Term Plan
History Action Plan
History Assessment Statements by Year Group
History Assessment Milestones
History Assessment Sheet Example
History Key Vocabulary List
- The BBC website has many links to videos, games and information a range of historical periods
- Try Teaching History with 100 Objects for some great ideas for using artefacts to teach history
- A landing page offering links to a host of Tudor games and activities
- A more wordy site, but interesting information about society and life.
- The Tudors using ICT from Teachers' TV
- Guide to resources for teaching and learning about Ancient Greece provided by the HA
- Factual site - very pupil friendly.
- A factual site, simplified for children
- Greek myths for children, with frame to write their own.
- A site giving advice and examples of lessons on Ancient Greece that have been rated as outstanding by Ofsted. Some are freely available, other resources are for members of this site only.
- Teaching famous people at KS1 - HA provided
- Florence Nightingale through drama from Teachers' TV
- The Florence Nightingale Museum. They have artefacts online.
World War II
- Links to great new interactive site by award winning film maker Laurence Rees - WW2History.com. However, you need to be a member of the site to get the full benefit. Reductions are on offer to HA members.
- What it was like to be a child in World War II from the BBC
- Factual children friendly site
- Teaching resources and interactive site.
- Factual site for children
- Primary school site with simple facts designed for children
- List of fun sites for pupils on Ancient Egypt
- Escape from the mummy's tomb interactive game offered by National Museums Liverpool
Black History Month - Nelson Mandela (Year 1) and Mary Seacole (Year 2) History Topics
Taking Learning Beyond the Classroom
One child was very keen to research the Indus Valley having seen it on a timeline in the classroom. Here is Louie's factfile.
The Viking Ship Museum
The photographs on this page were taken by Mr. Watson at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The museum houses three Viking era burial ships that were found as part of archaeological finds from Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg and the Borre mound cemetery. The photographs show the size of the ships, the detailed carving and oar holes and the rudders.The pictures are designed to help children with their studies on transport in Year 2 and when studying the Vikings in Year 6.