At Lynch Hill, we know that history is so much more than merely a record of events; it is the examination of the past and this demands critical use of evidence. For us, history is the process of enquiry, the search for evidence, and the examination of this evidence by sorting, evaluating and weighing it. This can be a simple explanation of how we know an object is old in EYFS, through to an analysis of fragments of pot evidence when studying the role of women in Ancient Greece in Y6. We want our pupils to develop these key skills so that they know what to do when faced, in their own lives, with two versions of the same event.
History at Lynch Hill can perhaps be summed up in just a few statements: we want children to be able to order events in time; find differences and similarities; write and talk about the past; use different sources for information; ask and answer searching questions. All classes in each year group will do all of these at some point and aim to link ‘then’ with ‘now so that they recognise an ever-changing world and their place in it.
Our curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable such as research, observation, recording and presentation. We intend for our history offer to be an offer for all, where necessary adaptions are planned and implemented so that all children are suitably challenged and can achieve.
At Lynch Hill, history is taught using the IPC units of study. This offers a cross-curricular approach and ensures that children are indeed able to make links and transfer skills. The key knowledge and skills are clearly identified for each topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across the school. By the end of Y6, pupils will have developed a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age right through to the present day. They will be given the opportunity to draw comparisons and make links between different historical periods; they will also be given the opportunity to study elements of world history such as Ancient Greece.
At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. IPC entry points offer children the ‘hook’ to awaken their interest and curiosity and exit points enable pupils to showcase the depth of their learning. Every learner is different, but our IPC matrices allow for children to work towards mastery and extended learning projects encourage pupils to showcase this in their own way. Within lessons, children are given the opportunity to question, to present their thinking in different ways and to reflect upon their learning of new knowledge and skills.
To help children with real-life context, the local area is utilised where appropriate to achieve targeted outcomes and specific trips are planned to enhance learning.
Lesson visits, discussions with pupils, informal assessments and outcomes in books demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge and skills. Displays will often map out the pupils’ learning journey and, as they progress through the school, they develop a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Britain, the wider world and how it has changed over time. Learning presentations showcase to a wider audience the children’s depth of understanding.
A strong emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning which helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the past and make them more curious to know more about it, recognising how our past influences the present and the future. Through the study of history, our pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Such skills will serve them well as they move onto secondary school and beyond.