At St Joseph’s history is taught as a discrete subject, broadly organised into chronological periods across Key Stage 2. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, history units are topic–based and generally focus on the more recent past.
At St Joseph’s we follow the new National Curriculum for History which states:
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand 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 time.
We ensure our planning and all lessons engage the children about the past, making good use of sources, cross curricular opportunities and educational visits to develop the skills above and enjoyment in this subject.
From the youngest age history is presented as an exciting narrative and brought alive, whatever period or topic is studied, using: story, film, drama and role play. We regularly have visiting workshops from organisations such as Freshwater Drama and Portals to the Past. Some of the exciting ways the children engage in to develop their understanding of the past is clearly illustrated in the photographs on the site.
We also ensure that our curriculum is responsive to current events and issues. For example, over the next 4 years for the World War 1 commemoration, all year groups will study aspects of this period which will include Remembrance Day and a Black History Month focus. In 2014, the school focused on the theme of international friendship which culminated in our commemorative match on 5th December 2014 between the staff and school team. In 2015, the school focused on people including Walter Tull and Wilfred Owen. 2016 focuses on animals in war and include looking at texts such as War horse by Michael Morporgo.
In addition, the children have been very excited to see the timeline we have had painted which not only makes an attractive display but will help the children develop their chronological understanding.
This is situated long one of our school staircases.