At Diamond Wood, we believe that a well-developed History curriculum, that provides children with rich, vocabulary based, creative lessons, will inspire their curiosity to know more about the past.
The focus for this year for History is to ensure that staff develop their subject knowledge and have a clearer understanding of the progression of skills appropriate for their own year group in this subject. The aim is for teachers to understand the importance of planning creative History lessons that not only instill ‘a curiosity to know more about the past’ (History National Curriculum, 2013), but develop the children’s awareness of events, people and places that are of local significance. It is essential that children recognise how these events impact local, regional, national and global history.
Teachers will use IRIS technology to record History lessons, not only to develop their own practice, but to share their ideas and creativity with the History lead and colleagues, enhancing the teaching of History across school.
As a school, Oracy is another main area of focus; therefore, History lessons will provide opportunity to explore the rich language of history and historical enquiry. To support this, a list of key vocabulary will be available, appropriate to each topic taught, which will also address any language gaps due to the COVID-19 school closure.
Teachers at Diamond Wood Academy are now members of the Historical Association, so have access to lesson plans and resources to inform their planning. We also are working in partnership with Historic England with the Heritage Schools Programme, and our hope this year is to achieve a Heritage Schools Award. Celebrations of our pupils’ diverse heritages during term time, such as ‘Romania Day’ and ‘Spanish Day’, will provide evidence toward achieving this award, and create wonderful opportunities to develop our children’s understanding of heritage.
As always, History progress and attainment data for all children will be collected and analysed at the end of each term and a report produced will identify any further actions and next steps. Training and support for teachers and educational teaching assistants will be provided, where needed, or requested.
History Curriculum Intent
At Diamond Wood Community Academy, we believe that a well-developed history curriculum, that provides children with rich, vocabulary based, creative lessons, will inspire their curiosity to know more about the past. We also recognise that a well- developed vocabulary will promote more positive outcomes for them through their education and beyond. By the time children leave us in Year 2, our aim is for all children to be confident in asking questions about the past and possess an understanding of the ways in which they can carry out historical investigations. We are fully committed to teaching our children the history of the wider world, ensuring that lessons are taught with links to the children’s heritage and local environment, wherever possible. This will allow them to talk with confidence about the history of where they live and have a sense of identity and belonging, understanding how they themselves and their local heritage link to the regional, national and global story.
Active and Creative Lessons
We plan active and creative History lessons so that children have the opportunity to immerse fully, in the history that we are teaching. Year 1s participate in themed days, experiencing life as a pirate and Year 2 children have visits from Queen Victoria, ‘hot seating’ her using their persuasive, historical language skills to persuade her to ride on George Stephenson’s Rocket!
Children explore artefacts and a wide range of sources for historical enquiry, supporting their knowledge and understanding of events in the past. We include local links when teaching History, so children “gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international History” (History National Curriculum, 2013). During the Queen Victoria lessons, children begin to understand the importance of the construction of railway systems during the Victorian era, and how this had a positive impact on the local mills in Ravensthorpe.
At Diamond Wood, we introduce the youngest children in school to the concept of History by developing their understanding of the world, focusing primarily on early memories; this also embeds the fundamental ideas of heritage from an early age. We focus on celebrations, such as Eid and Christmas, in our ‘This is me!’’ topic, asking them to remember special events or customs, which supports them to begin to identify similarities and differences that connect them to and distinguish them from others.
As they move into Reception, their prior learning about identity is strengthened by encouraging the children to talk about where they live. Outdoor learning and visits to places in their local community, such as the park, provide links to their own experiences. Discussions then take place about these experiences, such as how buildings have changed over time, introducing the concept of time and change, inspiring them to talk confidently about past events in their lives, or lives of people who are familiar to them. Maths lessons introduce children to the concept of chronological order regarding numbers and events, and develops their understanding of vocabulary linked to time, such as first, next and last; this provides a foundation for understanding timelines. Participating in active learning, such as themed days or visits from animal experts, allows children the opportunity to ask ‘who, what, where’ questions, which helps equip them with the skills required to carry out for more developed historical enquiry in Key Stage 1.
Heritage Schools Programme
At Diamond Wood, we are committed to teaching our children the history of the wider world, ensuring that we teach lessons with links to the children’s heritage and local environment, wherever possible. This learning will allow them to have a sense of identity and belonging, and talk with confidence about the history of where they live. They will also have an understanding of how they themselves and their local heritage link to the regional, national and global story.
With this in mind, Diamond Wood Community Academy are taking part in Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme, and our aim is to gain the Heritage Schools Award. Working closely with Historic England, we are developing our curriculum to embed local links into our History lessons so that children can use their own experience of the world to support their learning.
Learning on your Doorstep
We encourage children to explore their local area and find history on their doorstep. Ravensthorpe has a rich history just waiting to be discovered, such as Castle Hall Hill Motte and Bailey Castle.
Children and parents can register with Historic England and ‘enrich the list’ by uploading photographs or artwork to their website. By doing so, children will be ensuring that the exciting history of their local area is never forgotten and can be discovered by people from all over the world.
See Historic England website for more details https://historicengland.org.uk/
Primary National Curriculum History KS1 available at: