At Loughton School, we want our children to succeed as historians. We want them to gain a love for the subject, realising that understanding the past is the key to unlocking the changes that they want to see in the future. Within the programme of study for history in we aim to teach the children about important episodes and developments in Britain's past, from Roman to Modern times, about ancient civilisations and the history of other parts of the world. They are helped to develop a chronological framework through links across different study units.
Our children will embark on a journey throughout history, from the Celts and Romans, through to the Vikings, Kings and Queens of England and the Second World War, allowing them to see the longer lasting legacy that these eras have left upon modern Britain. Opportunities to assess the impact of these times on 21st century life are planned for throughout our curriculum.
By exploring the lives of a diverse range of historical figures, including black women and female scientists, we aim to inspire (and promote respect) children from all cultures and provide them with opportunities to see themselves in how they learn. Children are encouraged to challenge pre-conceived bias, understanding the impact of women throughout history and how their legacy has shaped our country today.
They will investigate local history and use a range of sources of information including historical field work. Where possible, we make local links so the children are able to see first-hand how their locality played an important role in key historical events and times. For example, children visits the ruins of a nearby Roman villa, which allows them to see more clearly how a Roman family would have lived.
Extending and applying historical enquiry around the world is also key to our curriculum. Italy and Mexico are explored in more detail through our topics of ancient Rome and Mayan civilizations.
The journey of a historian through our immersive curriculum ensures that children build upon key historical skills and progress each year in their historical knowledge and understanding. The sequence in which the children encounter the history curriculum has been carefully planned to ensure that the children can make logical and meaningful connections between what is learnt in one year with another. For example, in year 5, when learning about why the Vikings came to Britain and why they decided to settle, the children are able to compare and contrast these reasons with why the Romans did the same. This was taught in the previous school year. Children have the opportunity to discuss how these key historical figures have in turn, inspired them.
Through our immersive curriculum, children can be creative and independent within their history learning. An example being that they re-enact a battle between the Celts and the Romans in year 4, spending time before hand researching and making the weapons required. Homework projects also support the children to further explore their own talents and interests in relation to the history curriculum.
History and English lessons are threaded together. Link texts in our whole class guided reading sessions enthuse the children and reinforce the period of history that they are looking at. Our approach to writing gives ample scope for the children to explain their historical knowledge and understanding through different genres. Carefully structured writing lessons allow practice of explaining and expanding upon what they have been taught in history sessions and scaffolded support enables learners of all abilities to display this. Children can then build up their writing stamina and become more resilient.
Retrieval questions, which include the prior historical knowledge and skills that have been taught are planned so that teachers can identify whether children have retained knowledge and understanding weeks and months after it was last taught. This is done at the start of a unit, curriculum progression grids allow children to recall what they have learnt both in key stage one and in the lower years at Loughton School. Prior learning is referred back to and links made with new topics that the children will study. These links are then continually reinforced during the teaching of the new topic.
The history subject champion regularly meets with children to ask them questions about their learning, be it most recent, or topics that they have been taught in previous terms. In addition, weekly questions given to the children in class will include a history retrieval question, allowing the children to share their knowledge outside of a more structured history lesson enabling children to make links with their previous learning demonstrating their ability to know more and remember more.