At St Thomas More, we believe that it is vital that children have an extensive knowledge of the past to learn about our identity and improve our decision making and judgement. It also allows children to learn the mistakes of others in the past so that we can understand how to change and become positive members of society for the future.
Curriculum Intent Statement
How History is taught at St Thomas More
In our History lessons, we ensure that both our pupils’ substantive and disciplinary knowledge is built upon year on year.
Substantive Knowledge– Is knowledge and ‘substance’ of our curriculum e.g. people, dates, features of something
Disciplinary Knowledge-Is skills our children develop how interpret the past – how do we know what we know? E.g. changes, continuation, causes, sources.
So that our pupils are able to learn more and know more, we believe it is vital that our history curriculum develops both categories.
Skills to Gain Knowledge
Our aim is to ensure that our pupils become historians who can confidently attain knowledge regardless of the subject or topic. In order to do this, we carefully plan our history lessons so that eight main skills are taught. These skills ensure that children able to unpick historical knowledge throughout their life.
The eight skills are:
- Constructing the Past: is all about learning how does history ‘fit’ together? Our understanding of the past and how it interacts with itself. We ensure this by linking our pupils’ knowledge to previous topics and make sure that they have opportunities to compare across topics.
- Sequencing the Past: is about the chronology and the understanding of time and place throughout history. In our lessons, we allow children to develop their skills and knowledge of chronology by making lessons practical to develop understanding-e.g. by toilet roll timelines.
- Continuity and Change: is about identifying whether something has changed or stayed the same throughout history. We ensure this by making lots of comparisons of their knowledge within and across year groups. e.g. whether housing, beliefs, society improved or not.
- Cause and Effect: is about understanding that events happened to bring about another event and the implications of these. Furthermore, it is about identifying potential reasons for change and the positive/negative implications of them. We ensure this by teaching cause and effect explicitly.
- Significance and Interpretation: is about identifying what is important and that our understanding of the past comes from different sources. We ensure children develop a deep knowledge of this by linking this to change, cause and effect so our pupils understand what and why certain elements were important. We also teach children that our understanding of the past comes from different sources.
- Planning and Carrying Out Historical Enquiries: is about providing opportunities for our children to develop their knowledge/understanding by carrying out investigations into a certain aspect or theme. At first, children are guided through historical enquiries using materials and sources to make judgements before being able to do this on their own.
- Using Sources as Evidence: is about first of all knowing that history is made up of a variety of sources and different types of sources. We ensure that our children know how to analyse and investigate sources and use them to back up their arguments and judgements.
- Vocabulary: is about our pupils knowing how to use vocabulary to become articulate historians. We do this by using our school’s vocabulary progression document to know what words children should know in each year group and reinforcing these in lessons through stem sentences.
Our History Curriculum Overview shows the units of History covered in our school and the knowledge we expect our pupils to have gained by the end of each unit.
In response to our recent school restructure and in order to address knowledge gaps from Covid-19, we have re-evaluated our summer term units before beginning our 2021/22 Curriculum Overview in September.
Revised History Curriculum Overview Starting 2021/22 Academic Year
Our Curriculum Coverage Document shows how/where each National Curriculum objective is covered: