- Mr J. Brown
At Milton Primary Academy, we want all of our pupils to have an understanding of the past and of how history will shape their future. We believe that high-quality history lessons encourage critical thinking, enhance the ability to evaluate evidence and generate arguments, develop chronological understanding and allow pupils to develop their sense of perspective. We want our pupils to be passionate about history. We appreciate the value of historical enquiry and we ensure that we offer opportunities for our children to be inspired and to question why things happen, or have happened in the past.
Principles of Outstanding History
These are the ‘Principles of Outstanding History’ at Milton Primary Academy. They were devised and agreed by the children and staff in November 2019, informed by the way we feel that geography should be taught across the Academy.
Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about History and have a desire to explore the world as it was before them.
Principle 2: Children lead their own learning, asking and responding to their own historical questions.
Principle 3: Children enjoy learning through exploration.
Principle 4: Teachers use a range of effective assessment strategies to inform the planning and teaching of history.
Principle 5: Teachers introduce children to a range of age-appropriate historical terminology and they use this confidently.
Principle 6: Children and adults appreciate the awe and wonder of history, making links to how, where and why it forms part of their everyday lives.
Principle 7: The progression of historical subject content is carefully planned for and clearly evident.
Principle 8: Teachers enable children to access a range of enrichment opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum.
History Subject Leader
My name is Mr Brown and I am the history subject lead at Milton Primary Academy. I am passionate about history and find it fascinating to consider how events of the past shape our lives today.
It is my vision that history should be taught through the use of inference to understand why, and I find it fascinating that many events that have taken place in the past now provide numerous examples of cause and effect. These events have then shaped the world as we know it today and by allowing children to infer meaning through imagery and the use of questions to incite debate, we encourage all children to show their understanding of the past.
With this in mind, we have carefully planned our history curriculum at Milton Primary and it now offers each and every learner a trip through time; it allows them to establish a starting point and understand their roots as they explore where many things began! We have taken the key content from the National Curriculum and considered how this may best be used to ensure an understanding of chronology and significance.
To achieve seamless progression in historical knowledge and skills, our project-based learning generally focusses on events that have taken place within living memory in the first instance, as these are the events with which our children are likely to be more familiar. As they move through the academy, exploration goes back through time and children then learn about the Romans, Ancient Greeks and Early Civilisations, as well as so much more, and this gives me a great sense of pride as I see our children truly immerse themselves in their learning of events that took place in a different age.
To ensure that learning is meaningful, we also offer a range of CPD opportunities for all staff and have a culture of knowledge sharing across the academy. Through this collective learning, I am proud that our team is always striving to be the best that it can be.
At Milton Primary Academy we aim to provide a history curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfill their potential.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach history through the Understanding the World strand of the Early Years Framework.
Ongoing experiences and opportunities linking to children’s developing understanding of the world are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Years Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3-5 at Milton Primary Academy.
The experiences that we provide ensure that children develop a secure understanding of the world around them. By the end of the Reception year, they will be able to:
- Identify similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
- Talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary over time.
- Explain why some things occur.
KS1 and KS2:
The Primary 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.
With this in mind, our programme of study for history clearly sets out which matters, skills and process that pupils are expected to know, apply and understand at each point in the year for all groups.
Cross Curricular Links with History
Fundamentally, everyone’s experience of the world is cross curricular, as everything that surrounds us can be seen and understood from multiple perspectives. Our history curriculum at Milton Primary therefore aims to take advantage of a range of opportunities for children to make links between different subject areas, supporting the use and application of what has already been taught and learned in new and different ways and providing opportunities for deep, meaningful learning.
English (inc. Reading): At our academy, we have designed our curriculum so that children have the chance to improve their ability to read and write through the medium of history, and we provide many opportunities to link whole-class texts to history. For example, our teaching of the Anglo-Saxons is linked to Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Beowulf’, the Romans is linked to Christina Balit’s ‘Escape From Pompeii’ and Rose Blanche links closely to Year 5’s learning about World War II.
What’s more, through enquiry-led learning, children are given the opportunity to formulate ideas and write correctly punctuated questions and they also have an array of opportunities to secure their understanding of subject-specific historical vocabulary.
Mathematics: History is underpinned by mathematics and both of these subjects feature prominently across our curriculum. Children learn to use and order numbers when developing a sense of chronology, especially when creating timelines and sequencing events in their own lives. Children also learn to interpret the information that is shown to them in graphs and tables and they are able to infer meaning from their findings. What’s more, we also ask our children to calculate the differences between periods of time and use their mathematical understanding when talking about distances, such as the expansion of the Roman Empire.
Computing: It is vital for us as staff that children are given the opportunity to ask and answer their own questions. The use of the internet allows the children to pose these questions and then validate the answers that they find based on the credibility of the source. It is also extremely important that children can visually see the differences that have occurred over time and through the use of high-quality imagery, they experience what life was like in different time periods and can infer meaning through observation.
SMSC and British Values: Opportunities for children to experience and understand SMSC and British Values can be found in many aspects of our history curriculum at Milton Primary, no more so than when we reflect on the amazing history of the world around us. Specific examples of this include:
- Spiritual: Throughout their time at our academy, children explore the mystery of how and why events in the past happened and their many causes, as well as developing a realisation that if events did not happen in the way that they did, our life may be very different today. What’s more, our history curriculum also involves realising the incredible significance of historical figures, such as Year 4’s study of Julius Cesar and Year 5’s exploration of Adolf Hitler, whilst we also learn about the distortions that can take place through time and the multitude of different interpretations that can be made about one single event.
- Moral: Moral education in history involves pupils being encouraged to comment on moral questions and dilemmas. History is a story of right and wrong and throughout their time at our academy, pupils develop the ability to empathise with the decisions which ordinary people made at the time, based on their historical situations. For example, pupils in Year 5 develop empathy through learning to see things from other perspectives e.g. the life of a child during WW2.
- Social: Pupils’ own social development is encouraged throughout our history curriculum by means of working together and problem solving. History also has a role to play in helping people to express themselves clearly and to communicate more effectively. For example, we learn about social issues in past societies, how they were organised and functioned, as well as discussing and evaluating the qualities, skills and attitudes of famous people from the past.
- Cultural: Cultural education involves pupils developing a better understanding of our multicultural society through studying links between local, British, European and world history. For example, we consider how cultures change over time in many of our history-based projects and children also become aware of the concept of time, including: past, present, future and our part in it.
- British Values: Children are exposed to a range of fundamental British values though the teaching and learning of history at Milton Primary. These include, but are not restricted to, the individual liberty to make choices and share their own opinions, the mutual respect required to discuss findings with others, and the learning about democracy that takes place through projects such as World War II and the Ancient Greeks.
Geography: Geography goes hand-in-hand with many of the topics that we include in our history curriculum. In Year 2, children get the opportunity to explore events within living memory, but beyond their own, and this project allows them to understand the area around them. Once children have an understanding of how things may change over time, we are able to explore more challenging ideas and parts of the world much further afield. This allows children to use atlases, secondary research and their own prior knowledge in order to develop an understanding of key events in history and how things have changed in the world around us.
Assessment in History
At Milton Primary Academy we all agree that the effective assessment of children’s learning helps us to ensure that each child makes good or better progress so that ‘Together We Achieve Our Best.’ This section therefore outlines the various assessment methods and practices that we use to monitor pupil progress and attainment in history at Milton Primary, and also ensure that the activities that we plan for our children are suitably matched to their ability and level of development.
Formative Assessment (AfL): At the beginning of each project, the children are asked what they believe a range of subject specific vocabulary means and also to share any questions that they may have. This information is used by class teachers to inform the planning and teaching of each project, and again at the end of the project to ascertain how much new knowledge and vocabulary each child has learnt.
In every project lesson, the children are also given feedback to help them achieve their best. This may be in the form of written marking or through discussions with members of staff. What’s more, each term the children have the opportunity to partake in a one-to-one conference with their teacher, during which they are able to talk in detail about progress and attainment in all aspects of the curriculum.
Summative Assessment: By the end of each project, all of the children at Milton Primary should show an improved understanding of the National Curriculum content that has been taught and learned. In the front of their project book, children therefore have a ‘core knowledge overview’ and this is used to track their understanding of National Curriculum objectives.
Educational Visits and Enrichment
At Milton Primary Academy we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of history. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first hand experiences in the real-world.
Whole School Enrichment and Clubs: We strive to offer the best possible learning opportunities for our children at Milton and as we acknowledge that we cannot travel into the past, it is important that children are given opportunities to explore important artefacts from the periods that they are studying.
To enrich our curriculum, we have carefully chosen experiences that allow our children to enjoy hands-on activities linked to their whole-class projects. For example, in Year 2 children have the opportunity to explore The Titanic Museum in Liverpool; play with toys from different time periods at The Brampton Toy Museum; learn about World War Two at Tittensor Cenotaph and the Imperial War Musuem, and in Year 3 they are also visited by Stone Age experts who lead their learning for the day in our academy grounds.
At Milton Primary Academy we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible. Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2019/20 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the geography education that we provide.
Oliver in Reception said… “We really liked making poppies for Remembrance Day.”
Olivia in Year 1 said.. ”
I really enjoyed playing with all of the toys at the Brampton Museum and learning about Florence Nightingale.”
Poppy in Year 2 said… “I can’t believe how much our school has changed. It looked really different in the past.”
Oliver in Year 3 said… “I really want to dress up as a Stone Age person.”
Oliver said it… we did it!! Your teachers have arranged a fantastic experience for you as part of your Stone Age topic. They have invited a Stone Age expert to come and teach you all about the Stone Age. This will give you the chance to dress up as a Stone Age person and also try your hand at cave painting!
Jacob in Year 4 said… “I really liked learning about what happened during the Roman times.”
Alex in Year 5 said… “I enjoyed dressing up as an evacuee to help me to learn more about World War Two.”
Leisha in Year 6 said… “I’d like to go on more historical trips.”
Leisha said it… we did it!! Watch this space, Leisha! We have a surprise trip planned for Year 6 in the summer term.
Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of history teaching and learning at Milton Primary Academy. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Mr J. Brown, via the academy office (firstname.lastname@example.org).