At Hadrian Primary we are historians! We want our children to love history. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be archivists, museum curators, archaeologists or research analysts. We want them to embody our core values of 'believe, achieve, succeed' The history curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their historical capital. We want our children to remember their history lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the historical opportunities they are presented with! For example, we were nationally recognised for our work alongside Kings College London as part of the 'My primary school is at the museum' project. Year 5 children exchanged their classroom for the fort walls of Arbeia Roman Fort. Discovering Arbeia’s spaces and collections inspired our children to look beyond the obvious link with history and dip into other subjects such as science and geography. The children enjoyed spending more time outside than usual, exploring the archaeological remains. And their teacher responded with creativity, sending them on activities such as angle hunts with protractors and looking for Roman numerals as part of their maths lessons.
Bringing history alive is important at Hadrian Primary School.
The history curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the history National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, each autumn term some of our Year 6 children (house captains) visits the Town Hall as part of our involvement in the Holocaust Memorial events. The children are privileged to listen to memories and recounts given by Holocaust survivors and families.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the history curriculum. For example, in the autumn term of 2020 UKS2 remembered the events of World War II as a part of a themed week. Our pupils remembered and honoured those who sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. The children explored why remembering WWII is part of modern British life, culture and heritage. They impeccably observed a two minute silence, explored how the poppy is a symbol of remembrance and were inspired by John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. We are extremely proud of our pupils, who ensured that no-one is forgotten and united to honour all who suffered or died in war.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.
In July 2020, a complete audit of the history curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the history curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
History subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in history and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. For example, in Year 5 when the children explore ‘Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world’ they also tackle; democracy in their SMSC lessons, explore greek pottery in art and design, enjoy greek themed cookery in design technology and use the text ‘Who let the Gods out?’ by May Evans in English. Our children are taught the right, connected knowledge.
Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every history lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in history are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use history formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in history. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in history includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.