We believe that our History curriculum creates curiosity and wonder as the children explore the past throughout the world. Children are able to ask questions and seek answers to understand, enjoy and appreciate the diverse and multi-cultural world we are living in, giving them the knowledge, skills and understanding to be respectful and responsible citizens. We aim to equip Herne Historians with the skills and knowledge they need to describe, explain, investigate and critically question the past so they can learn from it.
We have a bespoke, ambitious curriculum, which follows a four-year cycle; this provides an essential contribution towards our Herne Junior curriculum intent and school community ethos, through equipping our pupils for lifelong learning, rooted in God’s love. Our curriculum is broad and balanced as historical events are developed and referred to across the curriculum, so children are able to make secure links. There is a clear progression of skills that is mapped out for our Herne Historians, which is underpinned by the national curriculum, so there is a clear end point each year. An Areas to Cover document has been created for each learning unit, so there is a clear progression of skills, knowledge and vocabulary in each lesson.
Our bespoke curriculum follows a four-year cycle; therefore, the whole school learns the same unit at the same time. The advantage to our uniquely designed curriculum is that it provides opportunities for children across the school to share their learning, to teach one another, and to have meaningful conversations at home with their families, bringing together our Herne community. All of our learning units are evenly balanced, ensuring sufficient time is allocated to teach History, but we also make meaningful links across subjects to ensure children are using a range of skills and sources, as well as presenting their understanding in a variety of ways. We also provide our children with memorable experiences and provide opportunities to develop their learning outside of the classroom – this helps bring their learning to life. We firmly believe that it is not solely about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children. We believe that by designing 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 have also ensured that throughout each year, we find opportunities to revisit skills and knowledge previously taught, so learning is moved into long-term memory and our children are able to make links between learning units.
In Term 1 each year, all year groups are taught core skills lessons in History focussing on chronology and interpreting sources based on a question. These lessons are progressive across the school so children are continuously building on previous learning. These are then revisited, consolidated and embedded within Historical learning units throughout the year. Our Areas to Cover documents outline each lesson and have been designed carefully so activities are interesting and engaging. Children develop their learning through a range of engaging activities: exploring primary and secondary sources; researching using books, internet, videos; attending trips; and interacting with visitors. They also present their understanding through drama, art, DT, computing and writing. Staff consistently use AFL to move the learning of our children forwards and ensure that they are receiving accurate knowledge of the past and the impact this has had. This continually informs planning and the need for any interventions.
Staff use the Areas to Cover documents and progression maps provided to assess children formally at the end of each learning unit. All submitted data is carefully analysed and feedback in given to each year group focussing on children to support with interventions as well as in class, and children to challenge further. Assessment also informs our future planning, enabling us to make critical tweaks and ensure a high-level of achievement and progress across the school. Children’s learning is monitored through book looks, learning visits, pupil and staff voice, HUB meetings, Staff CPD and Governor meetings. Our monitoring also ensures that we are able to have vital discussions to see the bigger picture and recognise that great outcomes are not just measured in quantifiable results, but in how successfully our pupils are developing as well-rounded citizens who are ready to stand up, ask questions and make respectful decisions using their knowledge of the past.