Curriculum Intent

We feel that all children should have a broad understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today. Historical developments, both technologically and socially, have directly affected our current world, and we believe that children should know where developments have come from and how the actions of nations and individuals have brought about change. Our local and wider area is rich with historical significance to our present day country, and through local links with museums and archaeological societies, we aim to  ‘bring history alive’ and enrich the knowledge of our pupils through inspirational history lessons. 

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world

  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind

  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’ 

  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses

  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed

  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.


Curriculum Implementation

At Istead Rise we have planned our history curriculum using the National Curriculum aims and requirements and we teach history lessons weekly during specific terms, with the other terms being dedicated to geography. During history lessons, pupils work both independently and in groups towards a common goal. They will explore various topics throughout their time with us and will gain an in-depth understanding of these thanks to carefully planned learning sequences which allow children to build upon their knowledge as the lessons progress. With an emphasis on developing enquiry skills, research, empathy and factual knowledge and understanding - a creative approach is taken by teachers to ensure that our history curriculum is engaging, relevant and memorable.

Within each key stage’s programme of study, lessons have been designed to include three strands across all year groups; Chronological Understanding, Knowledge and Understanding of Key Individuals / Events and Historical Enquiry Skills. We seek to challenge their thinking, and allow them to explore their learning creatively in every lesson. Teachers strive to ignite a passion and excitement which will encourage children to develop their interest in history. 

For each history unit, every child has a Knowledge Organiser to refer to, which is stuck into their books. They use these to help them with their learning. Using these Knowledge Organisers, teachers also create Target Memories for each lesson and the children are asked questions based on the previous week’s Target Memories at the start of their next lesson. At the end of each unit, they complete an online quiz so that teachers can assess their retention of knowledge since the beginning of the unit. To ensure that every unit of learning has a clearly defined end point, the children answer ‘enquiry questions’ which allow them to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts within the context of their recent learning. 

The children are provided with hands-on educational experiences with the help of the County Museum Learning Team. The school works closely with the museum’s Head of Learning to create and deliver bespoke handling opportunities of artefacts and workshops, alongside additional meaningful visits, trips and visitors.