History at Lostwithiel School

Curriculum intent for History

Studying history at Lostwithiel School gives learners the opportunity to develop an understanding of why the world and its people are the way they are today. They begin to ask questions as they explore the diversity of human experience, past lives and societies. We have divided the curriculum into three strands: British, world and local history. Within these strands, smaller sub-strands emerge, such as transport, trade, explorers and ancient civilisations. Our ‘Big Questions’ allow teachers to frame narratives and focus the learning within the unit of work. These overarching questions have multidimensional answers that require a breadth of knowledge to answer comprehensively. Asking and subsequently answering these bite-sized questions allows children to feel a sense of progression as they chip away at the larger, overarching question. We have worked hard at Lostwithiel School to ensure that our overarching questions allow children to make links with other foundation subjects ensures children gain the culture capital needed to be active citizens.

We want our learners to be passionate about history, to have a chronological understanding and awareness of vocabulary, questioning skills and a secure knowledge of history ready to take onto their secondary education. Through active participation learners will able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods and their own lives, learning about their town and its place in the world. At Lostwithiel School learners will explore the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and the Mayans, developing their understanding of trends over time and across concurrent civilisations. We have made these choices deliberately along with the application of a rationale that takes history from a starting point of ourselves and gradually begins to look out towards the wider world.

At Lostwithiel School history is taught through investigation and enquiry. Children develop an understanding of how history has had an impact on our lives today both locally, nationally and internationally. We want learners to have pride in their history learning. Whilst it is important for learners to have facts, we wish to encourage independent and critical thinking which will foster an understanding of ‘why’ as well as ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’. Lessons are planned so that there is time for discussion and debate, fostering an environment of enquiry which enables learners to revise and justify their opinions as well as encouraging learners to ask as well as answer questions about history. Vocabulary is introduced at the start of each topic. We work in partnership to develop our understanding of historical terms and vocabulary in order to deepen our understanding.

We believe that history should be an interactive subject which strives to ignite a child’s natural curiosity. Each unit being planned includes opportunities for children to investigate, handle artefacts, pictorial evidence, watch historical footage, take part in role play activities, visit relevant sites and museums and where appropriate, experience oral history, engaging with historical characters and ways of life. 

Learners persevere and explore questions developing critical investigative skills. They are able to become more familiar with historical skills such as debating the reliability of sources, making comparisons between historical periods, devising historically valid questions, drawing conclusions from sources and making links between events.

Underpinning this is cultural capital. A vital emphasis on children gaining the essential knowledge that is needed to be educated citizens in the ever-changing world around them.