All pupils at The Downley School are immersed in a carefully crafted history curriculum that is easily assessable for all students and their learning needs. The history curriculum is focused on reflection, enquiry, and comparison to the past and present. This enables students to develop critical thinking skills that will set them up for future success, regardless of their starting point.
Our history curriculum enables pupils to learn, grow and succeed together and is underpinned by our six values:
- Kapow Primary’s History scheme of work aims to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world through a variety of different resources and media formats.
- Each six-lesson unit has a focus on chronology to allow children to explore the place in time of the period they are studying and make comparisons in other parts of the world.
- In Key stage 1 and 2, units are organised around an enquiry-based question and children are encouraged to follow the enquiry cycle (Question, Investigate, Interpret, Evaluate and conclude, Communicate) when answering historical questions.
- Pupils are resilient learners and learn from their mistakes; they approach history with a growth mindset.
- Each unit uses recall of key facts to support students' learning and confidence by building a foundation of historical knowledge.
- Studying history allows children to appreciate the many reasons why people may behave in the way they do, supporting children to develop empathy for others while providing an opportunity to learn from humankind's past mistakes.
- Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the different aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world.
- History will help children to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups.
- Lessons are easily adaptable with provided guidance to ensure lessons are accessible to a variety of learners.
- Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts, concepts, and vocabulary.
- Students will be become enquiring learners who ask questions and can make suggestions about where to find the evidence to answer the question.
- Over the course of the scheme, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts, including change and continuity, as well as cause and consequence. Providing the opportunity for students to develop their importance in society.
- Students will be encouraged to be critical and analytical thinkers who are able to make informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.
- Students will learn to form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity, and differences.
Our high-quality history curriculum has clear progression and learning is carefully sequenced, built on and revisited. Lessons are planned to deepen pupils’ knowledge and skills, for future learning and employment as a Historian. Over the course of the scheme, children develop their understanding of the following key disciplinary concepts:
• Change and continuity.
• Cause and consequence.
• Similarities and differences.
• Historical significance.
• Historical interpretations.
• Sources of evidence.
These concepts will be encountered in different contexts during the study of local, British and world history. Accordingly, children will have varied opportunities to learn how historians use these skills to analyse the past and make judgements. They will confidently develop and use their own historical skill set. As children progress through the Kapow history scheme, they will create their own historical enquiries to study using sources and the skills they have developed.
Substantive concepts such as power, trade, invasion, and settlement, are introduced in Key stage 1, clearly identified in Lower key stage 2, and revisited in Upper key stage 2 (see progression of skills and knowledge), allowing knowledge of these key concepts to grow. These concepts are returned to in different contexts, meaning that pupils begin to develop an understanding of these abstract themes which are crucial to their future learning in history.
The Kapow scheme follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods. History in Action videos explain the careers and work of those in history and heritage-related fields. Historians, archivists, archaeologists, museum curators, teachers and heritage experts discuss their love of history, how they became interested in the subject, how they got into their jobs and what their jobs involve. Lessons are designed to be varied, engaging and hands-on, allowing children to experience the various aspects of an historical enquiry. In each lesson, children will participate in activities involving disciplinary and substantive concepts, developing their knowledge, and understanding of Britain’s role in the past and that of the wider world. Children will develop their knowledge of concepts and chronology as well as their in-depth knowledge of the context being studied. Guidance on how to adapt the teaching is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts, concepts, and vocabulary. Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust history curriculum. Each unit of lessons focuses on the key subject knowledge needed to deliver the curriculum, making links with prior learning, and identifying possible misconceptions.
Teachers use assessment to help learners embed and use knowledge fluently, to check understanding, address misconceptions, and inform teaching. The impact of Kapow Primary’s scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. Furthermore, each unit has a skill catcher and knowledge assessment quiz which can be used at the end of the unit to provide a summative assessment. Throughout the school year, many field trips are taken with a focus on history and expanding historians' understanding of the past in comparison to the present.
Pupils leave The Downley School with a deep understanding of the academic content of the history curriculum. They know more, remember more and can do more; they are prepared for their future aspirations as a historian.
The expected impact of following the Kapow History scheme of work is that children will:
● Know and understand the history of Britain, how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
● Develop an understanding of the history of the wider world, including ancient civilisations, empires, non-European societies, and the achievements of humankind.
● Develop a historically grounded understanding of substantive concepts - power, invasion, settlement and migration, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind and society.
● Form historical arguments based on cause and effect, consequence, continuity and change, similarity, and differences.
● Have an appreciation for significant individuals, inventions and events that impact our world both in history and from the present day.
● Understand how historians learn about the past and construct accounts.
● Ask historically-valid questions through an enquiry-based approach to learning to create structured accounts.
● Explain how and why interpretations of the past have been constructed using evidence.
● Make connections between historical concepts and timescales.
● Meet the relevant Early Learning Goals at the end of EYFS (Reception) and the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for History at the end of Key stage 1 and 2.
They understand that when we learn together, we grow together and succeed together.