“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
The intention of teaching for mastery is to give all pupils (including those with SEND) access to equitable classrooms; classrooms where pupils can all participate and be influential, and classrooms where pupils are encouraged and supported to develop a deep connected and sustained understanding of the history being explored.
We aim for pupils in Modbury Primary School to display positive approaches to History and develop attitudes that embrace challenge. We are constantly striving to improve outcomes for all our pupils and achieve the aims of the National Curriculum:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
- gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales
As a school we are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of history in the wider world and that they are also able to use their historical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We intend to build knowledge, skills and understanding by asking perceptive questions to enable them to think critically and develop perspective and judgement, building on the retrieval of prior knowledge, giving pupils the opportunity to embed key knowledge and chronology.
We are passionate that children should be encouraged to be active and equitable participants in history lessons. Our intention is for pupils to feel valued as part of a history community. Pupils feel comfortable to share their thinking and take part even when they feel unsure. Children are encouraged to question one another; agree and disagree by justifying their decisions and work together collaboratively.
Ethos and Growth Mindset
Instilling all our pupils with a ‘growth mindset’ during history lessons is a key priority for our school and we have actively promoted this with the children. In history lessons children are expected to relish challenges; embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process; value the importance of effort; respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. We believe in challenge and have a high expectation of pupil’s response to challenge. We are also helping our children to develop their metacognition, ensuring key concepts are embedded in their long-term memory by connecting new knowledge (working memory) with their existing knowledge (long term memory).
Children to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They are able to fit people and events onto a chronological timeline to identify similarities and differences between different periods. Learning should continue to develop chronological secure knowledge of history, to establish clear narratives, noting connections, contrast and trends over time.
Children will be using a wide range of historical terms to ask and answer questions. They will develop their vocabulary progressively: revisiting learnt historical terms and applying new terminology to relevant contrasts, connections and trends over time. Learning new vocabulary will be gradually centred around the understanding of abstract terms, including using terminology in accurate contexts.
Children to develop a love of learning through understanding how we learn about the past. Learning to be centred around an enquiry approach; using and relating to stories and reference books to show understanding of similarities and differences between ways of life at different times. Children to understand the importance of selecting, organising and deconstructing relevant historical information from a range of sources- constructing informed responses to enquiry-led questioning.
Interpretation of History
Learning to be centred around identification of ways in which the past is represented. Understanding of different versions of the past and the reasons for these conflicting accounts will allow children to further question and enquire multiple interpretations of history. Using Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, interpretation of history will be presented in small steps, using models and scaffolding alongside relevant questioning to allow learning to be centred around contextual and conceptual understanding.
Learning will focus on identifying differences and similarities between ways of life at different times, describing and making links between events, situations and changes within and across different periods and societies. Children will recognise why people did things, events happened and the outcomes as a result. Identification and reasoning of historical events, situations and changes will allow learning to be focussed on an enquiry based approach. Children will make simple observations about different historical figures, events and beliefs within a society- allowing children to describe social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity in Britain and the wider world.
To ensure our intent works in our day to day classrooms we understand that our implementation needs to be:
“Good quality teaching takes into account all children in the class and plans small enough steps for the vast majority of children to achieve success with scaffolding and support, and for others to be challenged in the same concept to a greater depth of reasoning.” (EEF)
At Modbury Primary School we follow Rising Stars in order to deliver our History curriculum. The areas of learning are outlined on our Curriculum Map.
All pupils at Modbury Primary School will be working on the same focus with different support provided to enable all pupils to access the History independently. Teaching is responsive and adaptable, with clear progression in steps between lessons that is driven from the children’s learning. Through reflective teaching the vast majority of each cohort will be moving through the content at broadly the same pace.
A coherent sequence: Reflection, re-cap and worked examples
As a school, we have developed our understanding and use of a variety of pedagogical approaches that focus on how children learn. We believe that these approaches enhance and develop our mastery approach. We are using the 10 principles of Instruction (Rosenshine) to underpin our planning; specifically carefully planning opportunities for retrieval through the use of carefully scaffolded questioning. We understand that with retrieval practice, regularly visiting areas already learnt before, helps to connect new ideas to ones that are already known.
Small step learning and mastery pedagogy
Pedagogy at Modbury Primary School focuses on breaking down learning into small steps and utilising teaching for mastery techniques such as: the delivery of carefully chosen historical skills, knowledge and reasoning; enabling the discussion in the form of mix ability pairs, talk partners and whole class discussion, mini plenaries – small steps providing sufficient scaffold for all pupils to access, precision in the use of historical language to further develop understanding and reasoning as well as working on rather than working through historical questions. Current research on retrieval practice and cognitive load theory are at the forefront of our planning process in these areas.
Questioning and AFL
Teachers will use questioning throughout history lessons to elicit children’s understanding and promote and challenge children to deepen understanding of concepts. Questions should be precise and develop historical thinking as well as develop the use of subject – specific vocabulary. These also come in the form of retrieval questions, pulling on pupils immediate recollection and long term memories. Teachers will build opportunity for AFL into lessons and will use regular opportunities for discussion and use strategies to check and deepen their understanding. Teachers will allow for AFL in a variety of ways. They will use written work, the use of images and artefact, sources, historical enquiry, as well as a whole range of other techniques and resources, while addressing misconceptions.
Modelling, Discussion and Dialogue
Talk in history is encouraged in all lessons. As teachers we encourage children to: Articulate their thinking, take responsibility for asking questions of others to clarify understanding, agree and disagree, justifying their thinking and responding in full sentences with the intention that everyone understands them.
Pupils behaving as Historians
Pupils are encouraged to make decisions both independently and collaboratively, working flexibly to answer questions, reflecting on their interpretation of historical evidence. A ‘have a go’ ethos underpins our History sessions, encouraging children to have a go even when unsure and embracing the purposeful struggle.
Challenges for Depth of Learning
Challenge focuses on breadth and depth of understanding and expects the children to apply their knowledge in challenging scenarios. Greater depth tasks are carefully planned for every lesson, within these tasks the children are asked to reason, compare and justify. Evidence of high attaining pupils being challenged will be evidenced in books.
Responsive Teaching and Feedback
In History all work is expected to be marked. By studying the EEF document ‘A Marked Improvement’ the use of targets are used to make marking as specific and actionable as possible in order to increase pupil progress. Where necessary teachers will intervene immediately to enable pupils to make progress in their learning. Any intervention/ response from the teacher will be annotated in the child’s book and will consolidate their thinking or encourage them to make progress.
Where children are working significantly below the expected age-related requirements of the curriculum scaffolding and targeted work takes place. These activities are planned by the teacher in discussion and collaboration with the SENDCO, parents and the TA working within the class. At Modbury Primary School, we believe that it is important that all learners are taught within the classroom with their peers, where interventions are needed teachers and teaching assistants follow a bespoke evidence informed intervention.
Each child with specific SEND difficulties will have targets that are agreed and monitored every half term to ensure progression.
Collaborative and Reflective CPD
We are fortunate at Modbury Primary school to be part of The South Hams Federation of schools. This gives us an opportunity to reflect and collaborate on all curriculum drivers as well as keeping up to date with current CPD.
The most effective way to find out what pupils understand about their history will be to talk to them.
Pupils really understand a historical concept, idea or skill if they can:
- Describe it in their own words;
- Represent it in a variety of ways (e.g. using images, timelines)
- Explain it to someone else;
- See historical connections between it and other facts or ideas;
- Recognise it in new situations and contexts;
- Make use of it in various ways, including in new situations
Through conversations with pupils we are also able to understand how they learn, if they are able to connect prior learning to the learning they are undertaking as well as investigating whether they understand why they are learning the key concepts and whether they know how they can be used in their future learning.
Effective monitoring and evaluation as well as informed and adaptable planning ensure progress is evident in all books for all learners. Progress can be seen week on week as a topic is delivered as well as over a whole unit, termly and over the course of the academic year. Timely ‘book looks’, cross federation moderation and learning walks review progress in relation to the progression of skills for each year group and guarantee consistency and high expectations are maintained.
The impact is evidenced through the pupils’ use and understanding of the knowledge, skills, concepts and specialist vocabulary. It is evidenced by the use and outcomes of the varied activities and assessments. The broad range of approaches for pupils to communicate their knowledge ensures that everyone can demonstrate progression and impact. In particular it is evidenced by the pupils’ ability, willingness and confidence in addressing and discussing each unit’s key question, giving a response focusing on historical vocabulary, skills and concepts. Pupils understand and can clarify to others what history is and the importance and value of studying the subject. They can explain to others how they are progressing and what they can do to get better in history.
The learning environment seeks to challenge, inspire and aid all learners at Modbury Primary School. The working walls in each class showcase the curriculum being taught and the planned sequence of learning for the unit. The work on display celebrates the achievements of the learners and the progress they are making.
Recording in Books
The purpose of children recording in books is to allow teachers to measure whether pupils have understood the concept being taught and the level of depth to which they have understood it as well as allowing our children to deepen their understanding of the content by working individually, independently and at greater depth. Our books show a child’s journey through their learning.
Planning follows the Curriculum Map and is in line with the National Curriculum Programme of Study for each year group. We use the Rising Stars History units to help teachers make effective use of the National Curriculum to develop pupils’ mastery of history. Coverage as well as depth of learning are key drivers for planning. All planning is adaptable and reviewed in line with the daily Assessment for Learning (AfL). Annotations and AfL monitor the progress for all learners in relation to the learning objectives.