History at Bolton
Subject Lead: Andrea Moody (Since September 2020)
Monitoring Governor: Hayley Jones (Since January 2023)
History at Bolton offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. History aims to develop historical skills and concepts which are transferable to whatever period of history is being studied and will equip children for future learning. These key historical skills and concepts, which are revisited throughout different units, are: Historical Interpretations; Historical Investigations; Chronological Understanding; Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past; Presenting, Organising and Communicating.
The coverage of recent history in KS1 such as ‘Toys’ and ‘Kings and Queens’ enables children to acquire an understanding of time, events and people in their memory and their parents’ and grandparents’ memories.
Children will build upon concepts and terminology studied earlier throughout the key stages, for example, the unit of work Carlisle Castle (Y5/6) builds upon understanding of historical terms, such as, monarch and war encountered in KS1 when studying Kings and Queens, and in Lower Key Stage 2, terminology such as, reign, empire, invasion and kingdoms when studying Anglo-Saxons, Romans and WW2. There are other inbuilt opportunities to make connections and develop links, for example the Anglo-Saxons and Scots unit (Y3/4) is built upon with the Vikings & Anglo-Saxons unit (Y5/6). In KS2, the units of work enable children to see how civilisations were interconnected. Children start to understand how some historical events occurred concurrently in different locations, e.g., Ancient Egypt and the Stone Age.
Due to having a two-year cycle in place, we are unable to deliver the units in a chronological order. However, part of every study will focus on an understanding of time and where key events occurred within each unit.
In order for children to know more and remember more in each area of history studied, there is a structure to the lesson sequence whereby prior learning is always considered and opportunities for revision of facts and historical understanding are built into lessons. However, this is not to say that this structure should be followed rigidly: it allows for this revision to become part of good practice and ultimately helps build a depth to children’s historical understanding. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenge. We have medium term plans that are developed by subject leaders; these are a specific series of lessons for each unit, which will usually start with a question or area of focus and will include an assessment of prior knowledge. These are stored in the subject leader file and on Teams. Units are taught in 5-7 week blocks and follow a similar sequence of accumulative learning with an assessment unit at the end. The revision and introduction of key vocabulary is built into each lesson and the use of knowledge organisers. This vocabulary is then included in lesson presentations, display materials or additional resources to ensure that children are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this knowledge.
Teachers are expected to have good subject knowledge and other adults working in those lessons are provided with enough support and materials to feel confident in their teaching and delivering. Through these lessons, we intend to promote our Bolton Values and inspire pupils and practitioners to develop a love of history and see how it has shaped the world they live in.
Where possible teachers will display information to promote curiosity in a unit and raise the profile of the subject and historical timelines will be visible in school. Whole-school and parental engagement will be improved through the use of history-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning (see website). We want to ensure that history is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of historical knowledge and understanding, now and in the future. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, formal and informal assessment, personal targets in the subject and next steps.
Please see our History at Bolton document below for more information, including our policy, progression of skills and long term plans.