At Leyland Methodist Schools we have developed a history curriculum that is tailored to the needs of our learners. We want all of our children to have an understanding of the past and how history will shape their future. In our History curriculum we want to foster the spirit of enquiry, develop an awareness of the past, and fire the children’s curiosity to find out about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through the development of key skills, the History curriculum encourages our children to learn, develop and flourish. Children should view history as a fun and interesting subject and the teaching of history will enable children to generate an interest in the past that will remain with them for life. The history curriculum has been developed to give our children an understanding of how the world we live in has been shaped by the past. We want to give our children opportunities to develop life skills such as thinking, evaluating, analysing, empathizing and communicating; skills that are essential in adult life.
The National Curriculum Programme of Study provides the foundation of our History Curriculum at Leyland Methodist Schools and underpins all work that we do. Historical study gives children the opportunity to use and extend their reading and research skills. They can develop investigative and deductive powers through the study of artefacts and other resources. Through discussion they can improve speaking and listening skills and begin to use critical analysis. Their interpretation of opinion and fact can help to extend reasoning skills beyond the literal. History gives the opportunity for a range of different teaching and learning styles. Group work will encourage co-operation and differentiated work will help individual children use and develop skills at their own level. It lends itself to drama and role-play as well as enrichment through visits and guest speakers. The use of written work in History provides opportunities for literacy skill development; writing for a purpose, letters, diaries, reports, etc. Cross-curricular themes can be developed. In History, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view. The purpose of studying history is to develop an awareness and understanding of chronology, change over the passage of time and the past influences which impact upon all aspects of our lives. Study through a variety of approaches and methods should help pupils to make sense of the world in which they live.
Using the National Curriculum document as a baseline, we have also undertaken a thorough Curriculum Needs Analysis, studying the characteristics of our learners here in Leyland to ensure that our curriculum fulfils their requirements. We now have a suite of topics which offer diverse and motivating learning experiences in History linked to other areas of the curriculum. To complement this, we have also developed a detailed Progression Document that maps out the key skills in learning throughout all aspects of History and shows what these skills look like at each level from Year 1 through to Year 6. This progression document provides clarity for both teachers and learners alike – it signals clearly what the expected level of progress looks like at each Key Stage and aids the assessment judgements of children.
At LMS we believe that History offers the perfect opportunity to develop our children’s cultural experiences. The history curriculum is enriched and enhanced by the beneficial use of trips and visits to museums and other historical places to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the children. We therefore aim to provide a programme of enrichment opportunities each year to elevate our curriculum to outstanding levels. These opportunities have included museum visits to various venues over recent years including exploring Lancaster Castle and the World Museum Liverpool. Here, our children enjoyed a workshop delivered by an Egyptologist and have had the opportunity to have a hands on discovery experience using genuine historical artefacts. These experiences provide vital opportunities for our learners to see and understand what excellence looks like and gives them something to strive for within their own learning journey. In addition to some History-themed visits, there are opportunities for skilled historians to come into school and work with our children thus enriching children’s learning.
Finally, we also recognise the importance of celebrating and showcasing the work of our developing historians here at Leyland Methodists and so we provide regular opportunities for their work to be shown throughout the year. At these Pop-Up Museum events, parents are invited in to see their children’s work displayed alongside other year groups and learn about what their child has been studying in History.
Our History curriculum offers diversity in the range of different time periods that we cover. The periods covered provide children with opportunities for furthering their awareness and understanding of different cultures. They also show children similarities and differences between the past and today. .
Our history curriculum is carefully planned to engage and excite all of our learners. Our long term and medium term plans map out the History Key Skills and ensure that they are covered across the teaching of the history topics. With this in mind, providing a rich and varied History curriculum for our Pupil Premium children is vital. All visits out of school to introduce our children to historical experiences, are funded through the Pupil Premium strategy for those who need it. Similarly, we have ensured that year groups with particularly high levels of vulnerable children have benefitted from visiting museums and historical workshops.