At St Francis we aim to inspire our children to have a curiosity about and fascination with the world, its people and their stories – our shared past and knowledge and understanding of events and people who have shaped our world. We believe History and Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the world, its people and the children’s place in it. We pride ourselves on providing children with hands on and creative learning which provides rich environments for children to both obtain and retain a breadth of knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, we aim to inspire a curiosity and fascination of the diverse places and people which will help ensure they are active and respectful members of society as they grow.
The History curriculum intends to allow children to have an understanding of why the world is as it is, how things have developed and changed over time and why. Through learning about a range of events and time periods in local and British History, as well as the world, children gain and understanding of time and significant events that took place. Furthermore, they are also able to identify how history has impacted our lives today; they consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised politics, and what beliefs and cultures influence people’s actions. Children can be inspired by stories of important historical figures who have made a difference, whether through technological advancements, scientific developments or fighting for human rights. The historical skills of enquiry and investigation, drawing conclusions using sources and knowing about authenticity and reliability of sources, are important life skills and we believe learning them in school can be transferred into many aspects of life as children grow.
History is taught through Topic lessons throughout the Year. These topics are varied and engaging and take our pupils on a learning journey which ensures a depth of learning as well as the progression of key skills and curriculum content. The curriculum has been carefully crafted to ensure full coverage of all key areas, whilst developing a progression of skills. At the beginning of each topic children are given key information which includes vocabulary, key locations and timelines where relevant to give context of their learning and to identify they key skills and knowledge they are aiming to gain. This also allows pupils to relate their learning to previous areas covered, allowing them to begin to compare and contrast. Our lessons aim to be as hands on as possible to ensure children are engaged in their learning and knowledge is retained. Opportunities for writing are also incorporated into their lessons. The use of Learning Journeys in classrooms enable children to see and be reminded of the wealth of learning already taken place as they journey through their topics, enabling retention of knowledge and vocabulary. There are also opportunities for cross-curricular links and, where possible, class books link to ensure further depth of understanding. Consideration is given to ensure all lessons are inclusive for different abilities and for children with EAL whilst aiming to provide opportunities for greater depth. Field work and school trips also provide opportunities to further extend and embed their learning.
Outcomes in Topic and English books as well as discussions with pupils, evidence a broad and balanced humanities curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of key knowledge. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation for their local area, our country and the world.