Hadley Learning Community: History Curriculum
At HLC, we love History; it feeds our curiosities, makes us inquisitive and inspires our learning. History teaches us to think critically, ask perceptive questions, weigh up evidence and form opinions whilst developing our own perspective and judgements. To understand our present, we need to delve into the complexities of people’s lives in the past, observe the process of change, the diversities of societies and the relationships between different groups of people. We have our todays and tomorrows because of what happened in our yesterdays and that’s why, at HLC, we are passionate about History.
Our pupils study two sequenced historical topics throughout the year which culminates in an enquiry end point; an opportunity to apply and analyse their knowledge and skills. Additionally, pupils are given the opportunity to consolidate and apply their historical skills when at least one historical link is interweaved into their topical learning. Creative teaching across the History curriculum allows our children to know more, remember more and understand more, which is evident through the historical themed conversations you have with them.
Our knowledge of History is further developed via a plethora of enrichment opportunities; venturing out on Educational Visits, studying local history topics such as ‘Victorian Hadley’, using the expertise of the History teachers over in HLC Secondary, linking topics with key texts and making meaningful links to every child’s learning. Additionally, our historical learning is connected to our curriculum driver of STEM by looking at inventions and innovations; from the Stone Age – Iron Age, Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and the Romans. In Key Stage 1, this is met through focussing on important individuals such as Neil Armstrong and the architecture of houses, for example, during the Great Fire of London.By evaluating the effectiveness of previous decisions and designs, children are encouraged to explore solutions and suggestions that would benefit future events.
Our love for all things Historical is reflected in our monthly meetings with our ‘History Heroes’; a group of enthusiastic historians from Year 1 to Year 6. This is also a unique opportunity to use the children’s voices to direct our curriculum and lead their own learning throughout school.
The history heroes are a group of pupils from year 1 to year 6 who have a real love for history, and show enthusiasm for everything from times gone by – both ancient and more recent. This was clear when we first met as a group. One pupil said “Yes history! I really like the gory bits like the wars and kings and queens, and the ancient eras too – they’re the most interesting parts” and another said “I just love history. It’s my favourite because we know about society and people in the past and know that life was totally different to us now. It’s really cool”.
During our meeting, we discussed the pupil’s favourite historical periods and significant people they knew from history. They debated what and who they thought should be learned about in school and which should go on a whole school timeline. Their knowledge was phenomenal and so broad from Cleopatra and the Battle of Hastings to Stephen Hawking, Bessie Coleman and the first journey to the Moon. It is going to be a tough job narrowing down their ideas (nearly 100!) to just a few for our timeline.
The History Heroes also began to plan a whole school celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. We discussed what VE Day and why it is important to celebrate it, especially this year. The children had some great ideas for how we could mark the anniversary as a school including a street party with veterans and traditional WW2 fairground games on the playground, as well as some competitions for pupils at home. They were all tasked with completing some further research at home before we meet again and make final decisions.