Rationale for the history curriculum at Dringhouses
At Dringhouses, we provide a high-quality history education through the use of exciting and engaging learning projects. This helps pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world and it inspires pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. York provides rich resources for historical learning which the school makes good use of. It also enables the children to feel a sense of ownership of and a stake in their city - a connection to where they are from.
Aims of history learning at Dringhouses
In line with the national curriculum for history, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
• Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
• Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
• Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
• Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
• Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
• Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
Children are given a wide range of experiences and resources as a stimulus for each area of study. Children are encouraged to ask and answer questions as well as selecting and recording information.
Wherever possible, we plan first-hand experiences for the children, including the use of artefacts, photographs, school records, visits to buildings and sites of historical interest and oral accounts from visitors to school. Teachers use a variety of approaches to encourage and enthuse the children, including role play, presentations and drama, individual, paired and group activities, discussions and debates.
In the Early Years’ Foundation Stage, history is taught through the areas of provision and the local area with evidence towards ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ recorded. In KS1, several learning projects each year are history-based, although subject content is interwoven throughout most learning projects. Children are encouraged to imagine what life would have been like in different historical periods and ask key questions. In KS2, many of the learning projects are built upon a history theme. This enables us to plan enrichment activities and performances with a strong history link, e.g. Anglo-Saxon Day and the Mayan Museum.
Our history co-ordinator is Mrs Clare Smith.