“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything.
You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” ― Michael Crichton
Intent – What We Aspire For Our Children?
In Rosslyn we follow rich and ambitious lines of History enquiries that inspire children’s curiosity, teach them to ask and discuss critical questions and enable them to have a powerful understanding of the society in which they live, their locality in the past and at present and that of Britain, and of the wider world.
In Rosslyn, History’s concepts of continuity and change, similarities and differences, chronology and significance teach pupils how to construct arguments and support them to become analytical citizens who can question human motivation and society with skill and confidence which we believe is crucial for their wellbeing.
The historic journeys of invaders and settlers, those of significant individuals and powerful monarchs, or the rise and fall of ancient civilisations in the past, teach Rosslyn children how to be the driving force of their community in the present. In Rosslyn they start their own journey of understanding the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their era.
Implementation – How Will We Teach the Curriculum?
Learning knowledge is not an endpoint in itself, it is a springboard to learning more knowledge. Each unit in our overview is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their historical skills. We teach trough historical enquiry where children investigate historically framed questions whilst also developing historical enquiries of their own. This ensures teaching is focused and children are working towards a clearly defined outcome. The overarching enquiry is often broken down into small sub-enquiries to give children a sense of incremental progression. We have developed our pedagogy and curriculum to make learning stick. Units of work refer to learning from previous units to enable children to grapple with historical concepts such as 'continuity and change', and 'similarity and difference'.
In addition to substantive and disciplinary knowledge, children will develop their experiential knowledge through visits, handling artefacts and topic workshops.
Rosslyn is member of the Historical Association and teachers use its wealth of resources to develop their subject knowledge. We’ve also worked in collaboration with The University of Nottingham to develop our Black, British and Belonging enquiries.
Our curriculum is refined yearly, but it maintains a consistent knowledge base to ensure conceptual progression. We have identified a set of key historical concepts that children will repeatedly revisit throughout their time at Rosslyn some of which are migration, invasion and settlement, monarchy and empire, civilization, society, legacy. They all link to our whole school Rosslyn threads and ensure the implementation of our holistic curriculum.
Valuing Our Local Heritage
We believe strongly that children should have a rich understanding of their local heritage. This is why local history is woven into our history curriculum to ensure it is explicitly taught and that links with larger historical themes are made.
Teaching History Through Narrative
History units of work are taught alongside thematically linked texts during English lessons. Where possible we teach new knowledge within a narrative so children are more likely to retain that knowledge. In addition, our Reading lessons are also intentionally sequenced to develop children's background knowledge and widen their History subject-specific vocabulary. We plan and provide opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the history topics being studied.
Where possible, every unit of work is enriched by a school trip, or by a visitor coming into school. Trips and visitors are carefully planned to ensure they link with what is happening in the classroom.
Impact - How Do We Know Our History Curriculum is Effective?
We believe that if children have become knowledgeable historians, then they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. This is why pupil voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress. If a child is able to confidently formulate and explain their own responses to an overarching enquiry, then the curriculum and its delivery have been successful.
The detailed unit overview outlines the main learning objectives, enquiry questions, that the children will explore and answer during their learning. The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the learning is planned for regularly to enable the children to see how their learning is progressing. Children’s learning is assessed informally in each lesson and teachers plan responsively to next steps. During each unit, children will complete written activities, verbal tasks and quizzes. Some outcomes will be recorded in their Topic books and others will be evidenced using technology and apps such as EvidenceMe, Showbie and Socrative.
The impact of our history curriculum can be seen beyond children’s topic books and lessons. Our children’s historical understanding is also evident in assemblies, school council’s and TransformTrust’s initiatives, in English, Reading and Religious Education lessons.
Our history curriculum is also celebrated through displays throughout the school and in our Humanity days.