"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."
It is our aim to help develop and nourish children to become great historians. St. Mary's follows Ark Curriculum, which is designed to ensure children leave primary school with an understanding of the past which paves the way for their future. We take our children on a journey through time to give them broad chronological and coherent knowledge of history; where all time periods fit in and how they relate to each other. Through our History lessons, pupils develop their ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, analyse evidence, examine arguments, develop judgement and understand differing perspectives. Throughout their journey through history, pupils will gain a wide breadth of knowledge of people, places and significant events through time, preparing them for the next step in their historical learning.
In Key Stage 1, pupils develop their understanding of the past – beginning with familiar objects and places within living memory before moving beyond living memory. Pupils study toys, transport and the seaside in Year 1. They then further develop their understanding of the past by studying the lives of significant individuals both nationally and internationally as well as studying a significant event beyond living memory. Pupils study Kings and Queens, The Great Fire of London and significant individuals who have made a difference in Year 2.
In Key Stage 2, the curriculum divides into two main strands. A study of Britain's past and a series of studies focussing on civilizations and people around the world. When studying British History, units are taught chronologically from the Stone Age in Year 3, to the Roman invasions and an in depth study into Roman Britain in Year 4, to the Anglo-Saxons, Scots and Vikings and ending with the Battle of Hastings in Year 5.
After this chronological study of British History, pupils move to studying three isolated units, each chosen because of their significance: The Industrial Revolution, WW1 and WW2. Pupils then end Year 6 with a chronological study of how groups of people have stood up for their own rights and the rights of others in order to influence change – Making our Mark.
Teachers at St. Mary's work hard to ensure our children are excited and engaged during their History lessons.
Before the unit begins, children are sent home with a knowledge organiser and homework challenge to complete over their half term break. We encourage parents to use this to introduce ambitious vocabulary and significant people or events whilst creating something they can bring back to school to share with the rest of their class.
We use immersive classrooms and exciting 'hooks' to make sure children are eager to learn about their new unit as soon as they come back after a half term. When possible, we loan artefacts from Doncaster Museum Services to ensure our children have access to high-quality primary resources to bring their learning to life and create a deeper understanding of the past. We also provide life experiences for our children through educational visits or a visitor into the classroom.
Our children will be confident and knowledgeable historians! They will be able to discuss their learning using the ambitious vocabulary they have learnt in their History lessons and have a good understanding of their studied places, people and significant events; as well as how these all link together. Children will show their extensive knowledge by using the work they have produced for their unit of work to the answer their enquiry question at the end of each half term.