At Fairisle Infant and Nursery School we want to inspire children to be curious about the past and to develop their thinking skills through a range of engaging activities during History lessons. They learn historical knowledge through a progressive curriculum that has a high focus on historical skills. These skills are built on through EYFS to Year Two ensuring teaching is built on prior knowledge and understanding.
The history curriculum is taught in a way that seeks to support our children to become critical thinkers who ask questions about the past and embrace our rights respecting culture including our right to think and believe what we want. We aim to foster our pupil’s ability to analyse information and evidence and value different opinions and viewpoints. Through history children have the opportunity to practise their speaking and listening skills and demonstrate links to our school ethos of having the right to speak and be listened to.
History is taught through theme led units of work that make purposeful links to other areas of the curriculum, such as art, design and technology or science. Each unit has a primary historical skill link which is shared with the children and pupils are encouraged to think like a ‘historian’.
Our history curriculum covers the skills that are defined in the National Curriculum through units that are exciting, engaging and provide challenge to the children. In addition to these more formal taught lessons we have regular drama workshops that motivate children and provide awe and wonder moments to inspire our pupils. We are fortunate enough to be able to take the children on trips that link to history and enrich the curriculum and create memorable experiences.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage the children explore the past and present events in their own lives, and in those of their families and other people they know. There is clear knowledge and skills progression that builds on prior learning so that children can make connections enabling them to make the best possible progress in history. The skills that they focus on are chronology, historical terminology, enquiry and interpretation, continuity and change cause and consequence, similarities and differences and significance.
In Year One children learn about changes within living memory through a topic of work about toys. They look at similarities and differences in this topic and basic chronology. They learn about the lives of significant individuals when they study Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, this topic lends itself to learning the skills of continuity and change and cause and consequence. Finally pupils learn about castles as a way of learning about historical places in their own locality, through this theme they learn the skills of historical terminology and significance.
In Year Two pupils learn about national events beyond living memory through topics about pirates, Guy Fawkes and The Great Fire of London. Through these topics they are taught the skills of similarities and differences and continuity and change and historical terminology such as Parliament and treason. The Great Fire of London topic lends itself well for the children to apply their ‘historian’ skills of interpreting and enquiring different sources such as diary entries and paintings and cause and effect. Year Two capitalise on a local attraction when they visit Sea-city museum to support their learning about the Titanic, which enables them to develop their knowledge of the key skills chronology and significance.
Our children leave Fairisle with key skills that set them up for further history education at the Junior School and some lifelong skills.