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.
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: