History at Leamington Primary School
Our children are: EXPLORERS, ARCHEOLOGISTS and HISTORIANS. We instil in our children curiosity, questioning and a desire to further extend their learning. Our children develop a thirst for knowledge as our curriculum provides an opportunity to spark their understanding, to delve deep into the past and to immerse themselves into different time periods. We provided our children with a memorable and emotive experience (November 2019) as we celebrated ‘Remembrance day’. We released red balloons as a school on our school playground at 11:11am, created our own poppies for a whole school display and read stories, which developed our writing skills. Bringing History to life is a core belief in our school. We provide our children with real life artefacts and experiences through our immersive curriculum. Our school celebrated its 90th birthday last year. We travelled back in time and staff and children dressed up as a 1929 teachers and pupils. We experienced what a day in the life was like as a school child/teacher. We believe in engaging our wider community in school life. We invited ex teachers and pupils and the surrounding community to celebrate with us. We offer a range of trips that link closely to our History topics to give our children a hands-on experience and bring their lessons alive.
The History curriculum supports our children with a wide range of knowledge that aids an inquisitive mind set and provides them with the tools to be historians. Our school provides our children with the statutory national curriculum requirements. Year 5, during their History topic ’Why were the Anglo Saxons so smashing?’ engrossed the children’s creativity by building the burial site of Sutton Hoo on our school ground. All members of year 5, staff and children, became archaeologists. As part of our curriculum, our teachers create an environment that enriches knowledge and ignites enthusiasm by using drama-based learning and transporting our children into the past. Each year group studies several time periods across the academic year and we believe that our children are excited about the past as it shapes their future.
Our school enhances children’s life experiences with exciting, meaningful opportunities, which will remain with them for life. We believe that trips and experiences bring our children’s lessons to life, which cements their knowledge. Year 2’s History topic is ‘How has St. George’s Hall changed?’ The year group take a trip to St. Georges Hall and visit the underground cells and compare and contrast changes in the building and the court room from the past to the present. We aim high to provide our children with a wide range of unforgettable experiences that supports and engages them in their learning journey. We incorporate trips, visitors and the use of artefacts into our lessons that contributes to their learning and provides our children with a greater understanding in their current topics. Year 4 have a Crime and Punishment visitor that takes our children on a journey through the different eras and what crimes and punishments occurred through the times and comparing it to life now. Our teachers go above and beyond providing our children with memorable opportunities. Our year 3 children travel back in time and delve deeper into our Local History. The children experienced a day in the life of an archaeologist and why their job is so important for finding evidence of why specific events occurred. Without a doubt, our school facilitates our children with not only the statutory curriculum but goes above and beyond to make their time at Leamington an education to remember.
As part of recent revamp of our History curriculum, we provide our children with a range of creative opportunities that allows teachers to gain greater knowledge and understanding of the children’s outcomes. We have implemented reflection tasks that are completed at the end of a topic, which is an exciting way of showcasing everything they have learnt. Teachers have specifically chosen reflection tasks for the children to complete at the end of a set topic that is fun and engaging for our children. These include: debates, information booklets, documentaries, persuasive texts etc.
We also use knowledge, understanding and skills grids that support teachers in ensuring targets are met as well as assessing children’s skills and ensures that targets, which are linked to the National Curriculum, are monitored closely.
To help stimulate our children’s learning, we bring our topics to life by providing exciting opportunities that encourage and engage all children through differential learning. Each year group uses a range of artefacts, goes on trips or have visitors coming to our school, which enhances their love of learning. These additional opportunities for children give a wide range of high-quality learning activities, both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Beatles museum
- St George’s Hall
- Eco centre – Stone age walk, dig and web quest
- Stone Age archaeologist visitor
- Norris Green Park Norris Mansion
- Crime & Punishment visitor
- Titanic museum, Liverpool
- World War Two Tunnels
How has Covid affected the History Curriculum at Leamington Primary?
What was it like before Lockdown?
Before lockdown, our children received a rich and immersive curriculum that developed curiosity and understanding of the past. Teachers planned and delivered exciting lessons that provided our children with a deep knowledge and understanding of the importance of history.
We provided our children with memorable experiences, that included school trips and outside support, to bring our lessons to life. Leamington provides our children with the statutory National Curriculum requirements and history topics are planned to ensure these requirements are met. Lessons are recorded in history books and when working practically, we use Seesaw to record these active lessons.
What was it like during the first Lockdown?
During the first lockdown (March – July 2020), our children did not receive a history education like they would in school. There were very few children attending hub schools, therefore there were no specific units of history being taught. There were some challenges set up via class dojo and our social media accounts, which prioritised mental health and wellbeing and ideas for children to keep active and entertained whilst in lockdown. Children were not set up for remote learning between these months, therefore history topics were not being taught. Instead, our children were living through a pandemic that one day, will go down in history.
Back to School September 2020
In September 2020, the new school year commenced and our school took on an approach that worked extremely well for our children. We taught units of work from the previous year group that the children had missed during lockdown. For example, Year 5 taught the year 4 summer curriculum. Our teachers prioritised key skills within units of work to ensure the gaps in learning that children had missed, were being taught before moving onto the statutory National Curriculum for their particular year group. As a school, we equipped our children with ‘working from home packs’ as a back-up incase any bubbles popped and year groups would have to isolate. If this happened, children and teachers would work remotely via Class Dojo and teachers videoed themselves as a scaffold to support children with their work.
What was it like during the second Lockdown?
During the second lockdown (Jan – March 2021), our school continued with delivering the full primary curriculum online and for key worker children. Teachers within each year group took alternate turns by either working in school (with children whose parents/carers were key workers) or working online (for children who were able to stay at home). We used Class Dojo to upload all work whilst participating in remote learning. Our school provided laptops, Ipads and wifi dongles to ensure our children could access remote learning from home. Teachers filmed their lessons ensuring the children were provided with structure that included an input and an explanation of activities to complete for each lesson. We ensured our children were receiving the same level of teaching at home as the children who were in school and all work was marked and feedback given when needed.
What was it like after the second Lockdown?
When we returned to school in March 2021, we continued to teach the curriculum from where we had left off during our remote learning. We are able to equip our history lessons with resources and artefacts we have in school, as well as practical lessons to ensure lessons are fun and exciting, which results in a deeper understanding. Unfortunately, for the time being, visitors and school trips are on hold until the foreseeable future. However, this is something that as a school we will certainly be re-engaging in as soon as allowed.
What does the future look like?
Our school will continue to provide our children with a rich and exciting history curriculum. Teachers will be looking closely at skills and providing opportunities through a cross curricular approach to ensure children are provided with the knowledge and skills they have missed due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, there have been gaps in learning and not every child has accessed remote learning, so teachers have and will be prioritising teaching and learning over the next few months before children start a new school year. Our teachers are equipped with Knowledge and Understanding Skills sheets to monitor history skills closely. As we have taught through a catch-up curriculum approach and remotely this year, history monitoring has been difficult. By the end of this school year, we will have a better understanding of what key skills we need to ensure are being taught rigorously in history. Having said this, all our history topics and units of work cover specific objectives. For example; chronology is taught within every topic and specific skills are covered within each topic and within each year group. As we move forward, we will continue to provide our children with experiences with exciting, meaningful opportunities, which will remain with them for life. We also look forward for trips to be back up and running, which have a positive impact on bringing lessons to life, which cements their knowledge.
Miss Lauren Tunstall
History Subject Leader