At Great Corby School and Nursery, we encourage each individual child to become a successful lifelong learner by igniting their curiosity, developing their love for learning and instilling a desire to achieve.
We believe History is an important subject and we want to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. At Great Corby School and Nursery, we believe that making local links is vital as we want children to understand how the past has shaped the pl ace in which they live, and how they will continue to shape it in the future. Throughout their primary school journey, the children will also learn about historical events that occurred both here in the UK and in the wider world. We want to give children a secure knowledge of the chronology of history, as well as enabling them to have deeper learning experiences of some of the more significant turning points in national and global world history. We aim to equip our children with the skills to think as historians by examining historical artefacts and primary sources and helping to them understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways. Children are encouraged to ask insightful questions, think critically, consider evidence and investigate answers.
At Great Corby School and Nursey, we follow Development Matters and the National Curriculum. Please see the history progression document for more information:
Staff use the CUSP History curriculum to support their planning of different history topics. Our CUSP Curriculum is delivered in modules, rotating through each subject area in history, geography and computing. Each module is carefully sequenced to enable pupils to purposefully layer learning from previous sessions to facilitate the acquisition and retention of key historical knowledge and events. Modules are revisited either later in the year or in the following year as part of a spaced retrieval practice method to ensure pupils retain key knowledge and information. The structure of CUSP History is built around the principles of advancing cumulative knowledge, chronology, change through cause and consequence, as well as making connections within and throughout periods of time studied. By using CUSP to support our History, we believe that children develop a coherent mental timeline, which guards against a superficial, disconnected and fragmented understanding of the past.
As well as ensuring pupils are taught key knowledge, each module is designed to offer pupils the opportunity to develop their skills as an Historian by understanding chronology, undertaking enquiry, using historical evidence and making connections in their learning. Throughout each module, pupils continually revisit previous content to reinforce key knowledge and vocabulary. This approach allows pupils to utilise effective cognitive load and ensures retention.
At Great Corby School and Nursery, we follow a rolling programme to ensure complete national curriculum coverage. Teaching staff collaborate in our approach to the planning, assessment and teaching of the subject throughout the school. As we are a small school we use mixed Key Stage and topics and therefore the children are not always taught historical events in chronological order. However, through revisiting the topics and making lots of links between them, children are able to establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
At the start of each module, pupils undertake a short quiz to establish prior knowledge and understanding of the module content. Throughout each module pupils continually revisit previous content, taking short quizzes to reinforce key knowledge and vocabulary. At the end of the module, pupils take another quiz to check their understanding and knowledge. This approach allows pupils to utilise effective cognitive load and ensures retention.
Accompanying each module is a knowledge organiser which contains key vocabulary, information and concepts which all pupils are expected to understand and retain. Knowledge notes are designed to help pupils acquire the content of each module. They support vocabulary and concept acquisition through a well-structured sequence that is cumulative. Each knowledge note begins with questions that link back to the cumulative quizzing, focusing on key content to be learnt and understood. Knowledge organisers and knowledge notes are referenced throughout each module and copies are shared with the children in books to support with ongoing learning and recall. They are also dual coded to provide pupils with visual calls to aid understanding and recall.
Vocabulary forms a key part of our wider curriculum. Subject specific Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are incorporated in each module and pupils are encouraged to develop their own ‘Vital Vocabulary’ lists along with dual coding to expand their history vocabulary repertoire.
As well as bespoke lessons, other cross curricular opportunities arise regularly and we see evidence of this in books, displays and photographs. For example, using timelines and understanding the passing of time have clear links to mathematics. When we learn about different past civilisations and their empires we use maps, atlases and plans which link to geographical skills. The links between religion and historical events will be explored in religious education. Art and design and technology work is inspired by our historical studies. We believe in the importance of children understanding how we know what the past was like through looking at a range of primary and secondary historical sources appropriate to their learning stage.
The impact of our History curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school:
- Lesson observations
- Book monitoring
- Learning walks
- Discussions with class teachers
- Discussions with pupils
Monitoring is used to measure the following:
- Children enjoy and are enthusiastic about history in our school.
- There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school.
- Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all history topics.
- Feedback from teachers has an impact on our pupils.
- All children are making progress, including EAL, PP and SEND children.
Monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school, or within individual year groups. Monitoring is an ongoing cycle, which is used productively to provide the best possible History curriculum for our children.
Senior leaders and subject leaders regularly undertake book studies to monitor the effectiveness of teaching and learning. This includes sessions with small groups of pupils using questioning to check and ensure information and knowledge is acquired and understood with increasing confidence. Feedback is given to teaching staff to inform future planning.
After the implementation of our history curriculum, pupils should leave primary school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and to be able to enjoy and appreciate history throughout their lives.